Guide to Manuscripts at the Rhode Island Historical Society Relating to People of Color

Rick Stattler, June 24, 2004; updated by Jennifer L. Galpern, August 1, 2018

The historical study of marginalized groups always presents a challenge to the researcher. The ruling classes leave behind great masses of letters, diaries, business records, books, and newspapers, and store them in their sturdy attics and counting houses for the benefit of future generations. Those on the outside are less likely to be literate, less likely to leave a written record, and much less likely to pass down that written record through several generations. Researchers looking for the diaries and memoirs left by the early Narragansett people will be disappointed. No diaries of Rhode Island slaves are known to survive, if they ever existed at all. In some ways, however, these stories can be told through the distorting lens of the records left by the ruling classes. Many thousands of passing references in account books, court records, letters and diaries are waiting for careful interpretation by the historian. 
This guide describes a variety of sources in the R.I.H.S. Manuscripts Division relating to people of color. These sources include references to individuals identified as being of African, American Indian or Asian descent, as well as general discussions of broader topics such as slavery or racial discrimination. 
These sources have not been gleaned in an systematic manner. Essentially, the Manuscripts Division staff has taken note of anything relating to people of color that they noticed in the course of their work, and collected these notes in a single document. Harold Kemble began assembling these notes in the 1980s, and subsequent staff have expanded upon his work. Many of these early references are now difficult to find because the documents have been recataloged. In 1998, Amy Lappin attempted to track down each of these documents, and record its proper current catalog number. In a few cases, she was unable to find the document that Kemble referred to, which is noted in the text. Those documents may have been miscataloged in the intervening years, or perhaps some of the original descriptions were inaccurate.
The guide is laid out alphabetically by collection name, using the last name when it is the collection of a family or an individual. When papers are part of the miscellaneous manuscripts collection the name is written last name, first name. The "MSS" number is the catalog number, which should help the staff locate the original document. The dates following the collection name indicate the span of years the collection encompasses. Dates following a person's name and in parentheses are birth and death dates.

This guide should be considered a working draft.


Call #

Title

Document Type

Date

Location

Description

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 11 Mss 541 Folder 1

Aaron Lopez Collection

Accounts

Oct - Dec 1770

Newport

Lopez's daybook includes record of receipt of payments which occasionally list the goods as being delivered by a "negro boy."

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 11 Mss 541 Folder 12

Aaron Lopez Collection

Bill of Sale

11 & 14 Feb 1774

Newport

Sale of "a certain Negro man named Charles" to Aaron Lopez from Joseph Holloway of Exeter and Lopez's transfer of Charles to Capt. Daniel Holloway.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 11 Mss 541 Folder 2

Aaron Lopez Collection

Accounts

1774-1775

Newport

Daybook records payments for goods and sometimes lists the names of the delivery boys including William Negro and Negro Jack

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 11 Mss 541 Folder 3

Aaron Lopez Collection

Log Book

1767-1783

Newport

Log book for five ships owned by the firm of Lopez & Rivera, mostly in slave trade: the Sally (1767); Hannah (1768), Cleopatra (1770-1773); Africa (1773-1774) and Washington (1783). Folder 12 contains several documents re a voyage of the slave ship Cleopatra to Africa in 1773, and a bill of sale for a slave named Charles, from Joseph Holloway of Exeter to Lopez in 1774.

Mss 9001-A Box 2 Folder 2: Preservation Photocopies (Also available on Microfilm E 185.93 .R4 M4)

African Union Society

Proceedings

10 Nov 1796

Newport

Proceedings of a "meeting held by free Africans and other free people of colour in the Town and county of Newport and state of Rhode Island on the tenth of November AD 1796 at the house occupied by Mr. Abraham Casey to hear an addendum from the convention of Deputies from the Abolition Society in the United States read...." Records identify a committee made up of Newport Gardner, Zingo Stevens, Prince Amy formed to raise money to buy books and appoint a clerk to record all births, marriages and deaths of free blacks and other people of color in the town of Newport.

Mss 452 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2: 1826

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Petition

16 Sep 1826

Burrillville

A remonstrance to Attorney General Albert C. Greene signed by thirteen citizens of Burrillville, countering an unspecified complaint by Hezekiah Smith and John Solomon, a "Man of Collor" of Burrillville, against several citizens of Burrillville. In response, Smith and Solomon are accused of cutting timber illegally, and "thay kep a bad hous fiting screeming murder rautling the nabors nite after nite and ... whiped one of their children and ... stole a gun from Andrew Stone."

Mss 452 Series 3, Box 10, Folder 3: Daybook and memoranda book, 1815-1817

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Daybook and Memoranda Book

1815-1817

East Greenwich/ Warwick

In his memo book notes Tabitha Gardner "commenced working for us at 5/- per week. October 9, 1815," probably in his household. Credits to and charges against her account are indicated in the book.

Mss 452 Series 6, Box 13, Folder 6: Rhode Island vs. Sarah Howland

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Court Proceedings

1827

East Greenwich/ Warwick

Proceeding relating to the trial of Rhode Island vs. Sarah Howland ("colored woman") who was tried twice & convicted twice of murdering Daniel Charles in 1826.

Mss 452 Series 6, Box 13, Folder 124: Rhode Island vs. John Gardner, William Jordan and Richard Johnson, 1831

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Deposition

1831

East Greenwich/ Warwick

Depositions relating to the infamous Olney Lane or Snowtown race riot

Mss 452 Series 6, Box 14, Folder 53: Rhode Island vs Amasa Walmsley & Thomas J. Walmsley, 1831-1833

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Case Records

1833

Providence

State v. Walmsley. Records and examinations involving Amasa Walmsley ("man of colour...wall layer") and his brother Thomas who are accused of murdering their Aunt Hannah Frank of Burrillville and John Burke, "a foreigner."

Mss 452 Series 6, Box 14, Folder 92: Rhode Island vs Geroge Fuller & Charles Nobles, 1835

Albert Collins Greene Papers

Deposition

30 Sep 1835

Providence

Depositions of Mary Ann Elizabeth Gardner (wife of John Gardner) and others, in the case of State vs. George Fuller and Charles Nobles.

Mss 9001-A Box 3

Allen/Allin, Benjamin 

Bill of Sale 

9 Jun 1704

Rehoboth

Benjamin Allen (1652-1723) Sale of "one Negro boy," Felix from Benjamin Allen of Rehoboth to Thomas Allen of Swansey. On the back of the bill of sale is Benjamin Allen's deed for sale of Felix

Mss 9001-A Box 5 Folder: Administrators 1767-1802

Allen/Allin, Capt. Zachariah

Receipt

1 Oct 1796

Providence

Capt. Zachariah Allen with Samuel Nightingale. Payment from Newport Tew for his services in burying Capt. Joseph Crawford. 

Mss 9001-A Box 5 Folder: Papers 1766-1799

Allen/Allin, Thomas

Papers

1790 & 1795

Barrington

Thomas Allen (1742-1800) Receipt, January 26, 1790. Payment for punishing Nathaniel Smith's Ceasar as "Allin thought fitt."

Appointment, July 16, 1795. Document appointing Allin as administrator of the estate of Jack Allen, "a free negro man."

Mss 29 Loose Vol. 1

Almy & Brown Records

Accounts

1791-1792

Providence

Entries of accounts for Bristol Rhodes July 13, 1791, Cudge (Brown) July 16, 1791 and March 27, 1792, and Primus Brown.

Mss 29 Loose Vol. 4

Almy & Brown Records

Accounts

1793-1794

Providence

Blotter shows "spining Milles Dr. to paid S. Slater's order given to John Bucklins black man for work at Pawtucket" (February 26, 1794)

Mss 29 Loose Vol. 25

Almy & Brown Records

Accounts

1789-1790

Providence

Record of payment to "Sylvester Daby, a black man for baskets" (December 1789), payment to Samuel Slater (October 1790), for hire of "the black man who turned [provided power] for him."

Mss 29 Loose Vol. 67

Almy & Brown Records

Accounts

1785-1790

Providence

Accounts of store purchases and services, include the names of Primus Hopkins, Brister Rhodes (he & wife spin yarn), PhillisAlderedy, wife of Prince for an agreement to spin warps, Prince Cushing, Marcy Alderedy, Cudge Brown and others.

Mss 29 Loose Vol. 74

Almy & Brown Records

Accounts

1789

Providence

Accounts for spinning containing the names of people of color including Marcy Alderedy, Phebey Shaw, and Providince Brown, among others.

Mss 29 Box 4 Folder Correspondence, 1800.7-9

Almy & Brown Records

Correspondence

11 Sept 1800

Providence

Letter from Benjamin Hadwen which mentions that "a black man in thy employ with no legs has a considerable sum of money due from Archibald Crary..."

Mss 9001-A Box 6

Almy, Job

Agreement

24 Aug 1773

Bedford 

"An agreement made between Job Almy & John Burden on the one Part & Samson Amos an Indian Man on the other Part, the said Samson agrees to Whale for sd. Almy & Burden on consideration of their paying him after the Rate of Six Dollars per month, During the Voyage to the Coast of Africa; on Board the Sloop Bellisle James Howland Master..."

Mss 9001-A Box 6

Almy, Samuel

Will

27 Sep 1763

Tiverton

Will of Samuel Almy. "To his wife Mary Almy: six female slaves named Fillis [Phyllis], Rose, Flower, Vilet [Violet], Hull, and Fillis the second [Phyllis]. To his sons Peleg and Job: two male slaves and one female slave named Zippo, Perow and Jenny."

Mss 9001-A Box 6 Folder 1 of 5: Misc. Papers, 1775 - 1834 & n.d.

Almy, William

Correspondence

30 Jul 1793, 12/13 Dec 1796

Providence

William Almy (1716-1836) of Providence. Letter - July 30 1793: To the Corresponding Committee of the Abolition Society in New York from William Almy and James Ellis concerning "sending Delegates to form a Convention to consider the cause of the opposed Africans and to solicit Congress for their relief in such a way and manner as may appear most eligible..." Letter - Dec 12 & 13 1796: To Andrew Herr pertaining to efforts by the Abolition Society to free Jack Johnson, "If he proves before competent authority that he is really free, he will not stand in need of thy aid to establish his freedom."

*Mss 816

Alva Woods Family Papers 

Correspondence

1870


Correspondence from Anne Brown Francis Woods to her daughter Abby Francis Woods Abbott regarding a love affair between a white woman and a colored servant named William.

Mss 816 Series 1: Correspondence, Box 2, Folder 178: Almira Woods to Alva Woods - 21 June 1830

Alva Woods Family Papers 

Diary

1830

Kentucky and Alabama

Diary of "Journey from Lexington Ky (May 3, 1830) and arriving Boston (1st week of June 1830) attached to a letter written from Almira to Alva Woods. Includes: anecdotes about Indians [5/4/1830]; "kind interference of a blacky" [1830]; 

Mss 816 Series 1: Correspondence, Box 10, Folder 890: E.B. Teague to Alva Woods - 31 Oct 1870

Alva Woods Family Papers 

Correspondence

31 Oct 1870


E.B. Teague to Alva woods discussing the religious and political situation of the southern Negroes.

Mss 816 Series 3: Diaries, Box 11 Folder 4: Almira M. Woods

Alva Woods Family Papers 

Diary

1831

Kentucky and Alabama

Diary, Lexington KY to Tuscaloosa, AL: anecdote about Indians' aversion to red hair [3/10/1831]; sympathetic encounter with "a lot of negroes stowed away for the southern market" [3/11/1831]; encounter with Chickasaws and slave ship [3/12/1831?]. Large party of Choctaws [3/18/1831?]. 

Mss 816 Series 3: Diaries, Box 11 Folder 4: Almira M. Woods

Alva Woods Family Papers 

Diary

1833

Kentucky and Alabama

Diary, Trip through Nothern Alabama: Frequent discussion of negroes in 1833 diary, including list of slaves and cotton picked by each on Mr. Jarman's plantation in Franklin County, AL. 

Mss 321 Box 3, Folder 1

Ambrose E. Burnside Collection

Correspondence

4 Apr 1864

Rhode Island

Correspondence sent by Major General Burnside during his service in the Civil War. Three telegrams sent circa April 4, 1864 to the Adjutant Generals in Columbus, OH; Springfield, IL; and Indianapolis, IN requesting information about the status of the colored regiments and whether the officers had been mustered into service.

See also the list of correspondence relating to people of color as part of the inventory to his papers. They often use the term "contraband" in reference to slaves who escaped or were liberated by advancing Union troops. Those individuals were technically still the property of their owners and so were contraband goods just as other types of "liberated" household goods were contraband. The list gives the volume and page number and the date of the letter or telegram.

Mss 257

American Citizenship Campaign Records

Lists

1917-1919

Rhode Island

The American Citizenship Campaign (1917-1919) began at the outbreak of World War I in an attempt to move aliens towards naturalization. Lists of alien men of voting age were created by nationality and town of residence, including several lists of Chinese-Americans.

Mss 927

American Tract Society Records

Records

1832-1835

Providence

Detailed reports and statistics regarding distribution of Christian tracts in the Fifth Ward of Providence. 

Mss 9001-A Box 8 Folder: John [Meanings] Account, 1749 - 1753

Andrews, John

Accounts

4 Nov 1749

Providence

Settles accounts with John Mannings for charges including labor of Mannings' servant Sharper (Nov. 4, 1749).

Mss 9001-A Loose Vol. 1816-1821

Angell, James

Account Book

1816-1821

North Providence

Loose Vol. 1816-1821: Includes accounts with Royal Cesar, Peter Ceaser, Samuel Ceaser, Charles Ceaser and others.

Mss 9001-A Loose Vol. Accounts 1722 - 1723 

Angell, John

Account Book

1722-1723

North Providence

Accounts include Peter Negro and Jack Negro.

Mss 262

Ann Eliza Club Records

Records

1885-1934

Providence

Records of the art and literary society. The records mention Edward Mitchell Bannister (a famous African-American artist from Rhode Island, who was a member), including a lecture of his and several lectures that pertain to the Narragansetts, most of them satirical. See list below. 

Mss 262 Series 1, Box 1 Folder 25

Ann Eliza Club Records

Lecture

15 Apr 1886

Providence

#25 “The Artist and His Critics”, by Edward Mitchell Bannister

Mss 262 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 46

Ann Eliza Club Records

Lecture

29 Sept 1887

Providence

#46 “A Sojourn in the Narragansett Country,” by George A. Buffum

Mss 262 Series 1, Box 3, Folder 209

Ann Eliza Club Records

Lecture

18 Jan 1894

Providence

#209 “The Land of the Ninigrets,” by Frederick W. Easton

Mss 262 Series 1, Box 3, Folder 229

Ann Eliza Club Records

Lecture

21 June 1894

Providence

#229 “The Wants of Ninigret,” by Edward Field

Mss 262 Series 3, Box 6, Folder 8: The Dredge, 1898 (#15)

Ann Eliza Club Records

Essay

1898

Providence

"The Tale of Ninigret", "written by the author"

Mss 9001-A Box 10

Anna, Phillis

Report

21 Apr 1804

Glocester

Inquiry into the death of Phillis Anna, a black woman in the town of Gloucester, 1804. Report of Coroner's inquest titled "Inquisition on a black woman" concerns the death of the wife of Cuffe Anna finding that she died "in a natural way."

Mss 9001-A Box 10 Folders: 1- Fragile Account books, late 18th C. 2- Papers, 1742 - 1800

Anthony, Abraham

Accounts

1742-1806

Portsmouth

References to people of color are scattered throughout the papers including accounts for making and mending of shoes for "black Sara" and payments recorded to various laborers. 

Mss 98 Box 10

Antoinette Downing Papers

Research Notes

1926-1986


Includes research notes, mainly newspaper clippings, on opera singer Cisseretta Jones ("Black Patti").

Mss 9001-A Box 11

Appollo (Brigatine)

Accounts

1764-1767

Newport

Accounts of cash disbursements include payments to various owners of slaves for labor. Slaves are not named individually.

"To Hannah Manton's Negro 2 days......5-"

Mss 1128 Box 1, Folder 1

Armington Family Papers

Diary 

24 Jan 1852


Diary of Hamlin Johnson. - "Went to Mr. DeHuffs gave runaway slave - 20¢"

Mss 1128 Box 1, Folder 5

Armington Family Papers

Memorandum

undated


Memoirs on Family History by Asa Watson Armington (c1789-1867), undated. 

Examples: "I have heard him speak of Col. Harmon (or "Harrison" A.H.A.), he had some very bad scars about the side and breast which was once shown me, and which injured his health while he lived. He was taken captive by the Indians in some one of these battles and would have been sacrifieced but for an old squaw's adopting him for her son, as she had lost one in the battle; he was taken by them far inland into the interior of Canada, and there kept for a number of years, when his old Indian mother went down to Montreal she would bring him a little salt tied up in a corner of her nether garment. He suffered much and after being released from the Indians returned to Phila. blind, brought on by hardship among the snows &c. His eyes were operated on in Philadelphia and then gained his sight, came to this place again and married my aunt." "After this my grandfather [Joseph Armington (1731-1817)] lived on a farm directly over India Bridge since known as the Lion Farm at that time belonging to a man of that name formerly a shipmaster from Newport, RI. My grandfather was superintendent of this farm for 4 years until it was sold. It was managed by hired help and by slaves. The owner Capt. Lion was then part owner in a large sloop with Capt. Hallet who commanded her and in a passage from Africa to Virginia the slaves became sickly and the sloop came into this river to refit and for supplies and the slaves were landed on the south shore of this farm on Watchemoket Bay on the high bank, . . ." "Among the slaves was a man named Ceasar of which I have head them speak as a man of talent for a slave."

Mss 9001-A Box 15

Arnold Family and Greene Family

Vital records

21 Dec 1828

Rhode Island

A book listing births, deaths and marriages, mostly Arnold and Greene families, includes the "death of Cola, wife of Cuff Waterman, slaves." Age approximately 90.

Mss 9001-A Box 12 Folder: Daybook, 1810 - 1811

Arnold, Israel

Accounts

1810-1811

Warwick

Daybook includes accounts with Pero Cheese (April 23, 1811) and Cato Waterman (July 27, 1811).

Mss 9001-A Box 12 Folder: James Arnold, of Cranston 

Arnold, James

Account Book

1798-1799

Cranston

Farm Account Books, 1756 - 1812 (4 vols) include payments to Cesar Lockwood (March 17, 1798 - January l, 1799) for cutting wood. 

Mss 9001-A Box 14 Folder: Misc. Papers 1763 - 1804.

Arnold, Oliver

Judgement

22 Jan 1768

Providence

Judgement against Sarah Pero "alias Sarah Prince Molatto Woman and Sarah Green for stealing about seven pounds weight of Indigo of the value of Forty Shillings."

Mss 9001-A Box 14

Arnold, Richard

Will

8 Jun 1708

Providence

Richard Arnold, d. 1710: In his last will and testament (June 8, 1708), his "Negro servent" Toby is bound to his son, Thomas until age 25 at which time the son is to free him. Instructions for setting Toby free are also indicated.

Mss 267 Series I: "Scrapbook 1" Folder 13

Arnold-Holden Papers

Legal Order

20 Aug 1750

Warwick

Order to Randall Holden, constable of the town of Warwick, to apprehend any person breaking the customs of the "Lord's day", or any "Indians and Negroes that you shall find in break of the laws…", Aug. 20, 1750

Mss 267 Series I: "Scrapbook 1" Folder 8

Arnold-Holden Papers

Indenture

21 May 1740

Warwick

Indenture between Thomas Chease "an Indian man" and Capt. Charles Holden, May 21, 1740

Mss 267 Series II: "Scrapbook 2" Folder 14

Arnold-Holden Papers

Legal Document 

10 Feb 1755

Warwick

Authorization for Col. Randall Holden (1694-1766) to administer estate of Isaac Setux, "an Indian man deceased", Feb. 10, 1755

Mss 267 Series III: Arnold Family Documents Folder 17 Deeds, 1715-1761

Arnold-Holden Papers

Papers

4 Mar 1761

Smithfield

William Arnold (1695-1766). Bill of sale for "one Negro woman names Dinah" to William Dean of Glocester, March 4, 1761

Mss 267 Series III: Arnold Family Documents Folder 18 Judgements, depositions, inquests, 1715-1766

Arnold-Holden Papers

Papers

5 Feb 1761

Smithfield

William Arnold (1695-1766). Inquiry into the death of his servant Dinah's infant. A coroner's jury ruling (February 5, 1761) indicates that the infant died by accident. 

Mss 9001-B Box 1 Folder: "Genealogical Notes"

Bailey, William M.

Memorandum

May 1882

Providence

Note apparently written by his mother, Jane Keeley, grandaughter of Providence blacksmith Jacob Whitman, idenitifies Whitman's slaves including Prince (Priney no Nose), Cato, Pomp, Sisser, Card, Amy, Tullis, Nancy, and Dorcas.

Mss 9001-B Box 1

Baley, Thomas

Indenture

20 Jul 1768

Newport

Indenture of Bathsheba Kim, a negro girl, to Baley & heris, signed by William Coddington & the Overseers of the Poor.

Mss 9001-B Box 3

Barber, Reynolds

Deed

c.1780

Exeter

Sale of a Negro Man Named Prince to Amie, not dated.

MSS 187

Barrington Town Records Collection

Tax List

1 Oct 1798

Barrington

List C of the 1798 Direct Tax valuation - Particular list of slaves owned by, or under the care of on the first day of October 1798, within the assessment district [blank] in the State of Rhode Island. One sheet for Barrington listing 4 individuals each owning 1 slave: Edward Bosworth, Nathaniel Smith, Ebenezer Tiffaney, Matthew Watson. The names of the slaves are not given.

Mss 9001-B Box 5

Bayley, William

Will

10 Jan 1770

Middletown

In his last will and testament, Bailey manumits Prince when his youngest son reaches the age of twenty one. In the inventory of his estate, Prince is valued at L l5-0-0.

Mss 11 Box 2 Folder: Financial Records

Benjamin Bourne Papers

Bill of sale 

31 Jan 1786

Bristol

Financial records include a bill of sale from Silas Talbot for Dimbo, his wife, Sarah and three children (January 31, 1786). Also included in the sale are the articles of clothing and furniture in their house.

*Mss 11

Benjamin Bourne Papers.

Letter

4 Jan 1795

Bristol

A letter (January 4, 1795) from Arthur Fenner to Benjamin Bourne introducing Christopher Harry, a Narragansett Indian, as one of agents appealing to Congress concerning encroachments on Indian lands in New York.

Mss 112 Series 2, Subseries A, Loose Vol. 1: Daybook, 1750-1764

Benjamin C. Harris Papers

Day Book

6 Mar 1752

Providence

David Harris's Day Book: Charges against Daniel Wilbor for cash paid to "old Maney negro," p.7

Mss 112 Series 2, Subseries B, Loose Vol. 5: Daybook, 1784-1814

Benjamin C. Harris Papers

Day Book

1784-1814 

Providence

Joseph Harris's Day Book: Accounts with Prince Gardner.

Mss 112 Series 2, Subseries C, Loose Vol. 7: Ledger #B, 1784-1817

Benjamin C. Harris Papers

Ledger

1784-1817

Providence

Steven Harris's Accounts with Jeremiah Cesar (p. 61), Jacob Perce (p.72), Cato Gardner (p.100), Samson Hazzard (p.106), John French (p.147), Martha and Phebe Hazzard (p.152), William Clifford (p. 163), Prince Low (p.188), Thomas Brown (p. 196), Sampson Meads (p.196)

Mss 112 Series 2, Subseries F, Loose Vol. 11: Expenditure Book, 1821-1825

Benjamin C. Harris Papers

Accounts

28 Apr 1823

Providence

Includes accounts with "Pedro, Black Man"

Mss 112 Series 2, Subseries F, Loose Vol. 14: Ledger A, 1826-1834

Benjamin C. Harris Papers

Ledger

1828

Providence

Accounts with Henry Martin (p.171)

Mss 439 Loose Vol. 2: Benjamin T. Chandler, Ledger 1804-1808

Benjamin T. Chandler Family Records

Account book

1806-1809

Providence

Account book of Benjamin T. Chandler for general store names Scipio Brinton (p. 72), John Corlis, and "Borneo." (None idenitified as POC) Corresponding transactions can be found in the daybook (vol. 1). 

Mss 439 Loose Vol. 3: William Earle Accounts, 1796-1833

Benjamin T. Chandler Family Records

Journal

1796-1800

Providence

Records payment to Prince Vaughn (not identified as POC)

Mss 109

Beriah Brown Papers

Papers

1746-1792

Kings/Washington County

Papers of Beriah Brown, who served as sheriff of Kings/Washington County from 1746 to 1792. A careful review of the entire collection would undoubtedly yield more references than those listed below.

*Mss 109

Beriah Brown Papers

Warrant

4 July 1771

Kings/Washington County

Warrant against “Seaser, a Negro” suspected of assault

Mss 109 Box 2, Folder 3: 1761

Beriah Brown Papers

Indenture

18 May 1761

Kings/Washington County

Indenture made between Beriah Brown & Gideon Hoxsie regarding a "Negro man named Quacco"

Mss 109 Box 2, Folder 8: 1765

Beriah Brown Papers

Settlement

9 July 1765

Kings/Washington County

Dispute between Pecten Boss & Beriah Brown Jr, settled with "one Negro man and hatcase and glasses"

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 2: 1770

Beriah Brown Papers

Judgement

1 Mar 1770

Kings/Washington County

Judgement for Gideon Clarke of South Kingston against John Franklin "to have & recover two Negroes the one a Negroe woman named Claro the other a Negro boy named Dick or for the want thereof 100 pounds lawful money"

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 2: 1770

Beriah Brown Papers

Sentence

6 Mar 1770

Kings/Washington County

"Hannah Sias (so called) an Indian woman of South Kingston aforementioned was convicted of stealing from Thomas Hazard of South Kingstown aforementioned six pounds of sugar." She was ordered to "restore to the said Thomas Hazard six shillings lawful money being two fold of the value of the sugar stole and also pay a fine...three shillings and costs of convictions..." She failed to pay so instead was "publically whipped upon her naked back then stripes"

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 2: 1770

Beriah Brown Papers

Judgement

10 Mar 1770

Kings/Washington County

Judgement for Othniel Gardner of Exeter "commenced an action of Detune, for detaining one certain Neagro boy slave or captive called Priamus against John Smith Junior"

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 3: 1771

Beriah Brown Papers

Judgement

11 Mar 1771

Kings/Washington County

Judgement is a case concerning “Henry Harry, Indian”

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 3: 1771

Beriah Brown Papers

Receipt

8 Oct 1771

Kings/Washington County

Capt. Joseph Hale "to taking up your Negro Peter Bounty 4 dollars to Sundry cost, keeping him & expences in carrying him to Goal (jail)"

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 6: 1774

Beriah Brown Papers

Warrant

14 Mar 1774

Kings/Washington County

Warrant for the arrest of John Franklin of South Kingston by a complaint made by "Thomas Lawton (a Negro man) Laborer and Marcy (a Mustee) his wife both of North Kingston, which said March before her Intermarriage with the said Thomas was widow of Isaac Cezars" claim that the Mr. Franklin did "with force and arms did take & carry away one Solomon Cezar a Mulatto boy of the age of sixteen years & son to the Pct Marcy and the said Isaac deceased, and still unjustly detains the said Solomon...."

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 6: 1774

Beriah Brown Papers

Indenture

14 Mar 1774

Kings/Washington County

Indenture agreement between Thomas Lawton and his wife Mercy to place their son Solomon Cezar with Beriah Brown and his wife Amy as a servant until he turns twenty one years old (now being 16).

Mss 109 Box 3, Folder 6: 1774

Beriah Brown Papers

Receipt

23 Mar 1774

Kings/Washington County

(2) receipts: 1- "received of Beriah Brown one hundred dollars in part for a Negro man named Jack - Saml Phillips"; 2- "Know all men by these presents that I Samuel Phillips of North Kingstwon in the County of Kings County yeoman have this day received of Beriah Brown of said North Kingstown Esq. the sum of two hundre silver milled dollars in full satisfaction for one Negro man slave named or called Jack which Negro man I have this day sold and delivered to the said Beriah Brown..."

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 6: 1778

Beriah Brown Papers

Correspondence

17 Mar 1778

Kings/Washington County

A large scrap of paper on which Brown drafted a letter to the new government regarding Sipio, his slave, who had enlisted in the army. Brown claimed to be "willing to serve his country" but "wants his boy back". 

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Legal Document 

Sept 1779

Kings/Washington County

State of RI General Assembly: orders Johsua Randall of Stonington, CT the rights to sell the Negro woman & her 3 children currently in the custody of Beriah Brown under the conditions that they are sold in state, that original owner Carder Hazard approves of the buyers and that Beriah Brown is paid for expenses of holding the slaves until sale is completed.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Correspondence

22 Oct 1779

Kings/Washington County

North Carolina Brigade stationed at the Port on Constitution Island in the State of New York regarding John Rice, letter of support & character.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Correspondence

27 Noc 1779

Kings/Washington County

John Tenn, delegate for North Carolina, regarding John Rice, letter of support & character.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Testimony

Oct 1779

Kings/Washington County

John Rice's testimony regarding the case before the State Assembly regarding the 4 slaves (one woman & her three children) he purchased for $3000 from Carder Hazard. He claims that when he refused to sell 2 of them to Lodowick Stanton, Stanton and John Cross hide them and said they ran away. They were later taken into custody and the State Assembly decided their fate. Rice was never allowed to appeal his case and they were sold by Joshua Randall. Stanton was able to buy the 2 he wanted for $200 less than he originally offered Rice.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Promissary Note

28 Oct 1779

Kings/Washington County

Joseph Noyes obligation to pay Beriah Brown in his capacity as sheriff for the purchase of 2 Negro children, Mary & Jane.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Promissary Note

28 Oct 1779

Kings/Washington County

Lodowick Stanton obligation to pay Beriah Brown in his capacity as sheriff for the purchase of a Negro woman named Nab or Abigail & her child named Milly.

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Power of Attorney

30 Dec 1779

Kings/Washington County

John Rice appointing Beriah Brown as his attorney "in all cases for and against me"

Mss 109 Box 4 Folder 7: 1779

Beriah Brown Papers

Correspondence

1779/1780

Kings/Washington County

Letter from John Rice to Beriah Brown instucting him of what to do with any money owed him if Rice cannot personally come to collect it.

Mss 109 Box 4, Folder 5: 1777

Beriah Brown Papers

Estate List

May 1777

Kings/Washington County

List of property owned by Charles Slocum sold at auction: includes "one Negroman called Jim to Beriah White - 67.00"

Mss 109 Box 5 Folder 8: 1785

Beriah Brown Papers

Advisertisement

26 Feb 1785

Kings/Washington County

Draft of an advertisement regarding a runaway slave named Pomp, reward for return $8.

Mss 109 Box 5 Folder 8: 1785

Beriah Brown Papers

Deed

19 Mar 1785

Kings/Washington County

From Beriah Brown Jr to Beriah Brown Sr "one certain Negro named Pero aged about thirty-eight years"

Mss 109 Box 5, Folder 2: 1780

Beriah Brown Papers

Legal Document

1780

Kings/Washington County

"Sometime last spring the town of New Shoreham made an order one Abigail Westcott, an Indian woman an inhabitant of the said town of New Shoreham and a pauper was an inhabitant of North Kingstown and removed her there accordingly…"

Mss 190 Box 5, Folder 2: 1780

Beriah Brown Papers

Power of Attorney

5 June 1780

Kings/Washington County

Hezekiah Babcock making Beriah Brown "my attorney in all causes for and against me in my name relating to an indian boy named Varnum Stanton which boy I have an indenture…"

*Mss 190 Box 6 Folder 9: Undated materials of interest

Beriah Brown Papers

Papers

1787-1874

Kings/Washington County

Other items include an undated suit regarding a slave purchased by one Joshua Holmes, who later proved to be free

Mss 9001-B Box 6

Bicknell, Japheth

Land Deeds

1788-1791

North Kingstown

Three deeds to Sampson Gardner alias Samson Chaucum, a free black man.

Mss 9001-B Box 6

Bicknell, Joseph

Promissory Note

5 Jul 1819

Warren

Promise to pay Nimmo and Churchill "Twenty dollars for Value Recvd."

Mss 9001-B Box 6, Folder 2: Phaneul E Bishop, Diary 12/18/1863-6/30/1864 also Family Notes (Photocopy)

Bishop, Phanuel Euclid

Diary 

18 Dec 1862 - 30 Jun 1864

Rhode Island

Diary of white lieutenant in 14th Regiment, R.I. Heavy Artillery (Colored) in the Civil War.

Mss 233

Blackstone Valley Community Action Program Records

Records

1967-1973

Pawtucket

Records of federally funded anti-poverty organization based in Pawtucket, with a substantial number of Afro-American staff and clients. See Finding Aid for Folder level descriptions.

Mss 9001-B Box 8

Borden, Benjamin

Correspondence

1785-1789

Tiverton

Borden's papers contain references to the buying and selling of slaves, traveling to the West Indies and selling molasses and rum.

Mss 9001-B Box 8

Borden, John

Correspondence

28 Nov 1802

Tiverton

From Edwin Snow, concerning a black girl named Lucy Durfee alias Chace who is to be sold the following day.

MICROFILM E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 11 Mss 9001-B Box 9

Bosworth, Capt. Benjamin

Sailing Orders

1806


There are only two undated single-page documents in this collection. Both are unsigned drafts of sailing orders to a Capt. Bosworth for voyages to Africa, and give detailed instructions regarding contacts and procedures for procuring slaves. One describes a certain point on the coast where "you will discover a signal pole at [Seallem?] Point & if the Factory is not destroyed th will be a flage posted white with a cross." The captain was instructed to "trade by ounces, price from 3 to 4 ounces pr. head", probably in gold. The orders are believed to have been issued for the 1806 voyage of the brig Lark, which is the only slaving voyage Coughtry cites for any Capt. Bosworth.

Mss 9001-B Loose Vol.

Bourne, Aaron

Ledger

1729-1749

Bristol

Physician's accounts with slave-owners whose servants he has treated: Capt. John Newton, Thomas Kinnicutt, Deacon Benjamin Cary, Nathaniel Paine, others. Some send their servants to work for Bourne to pay off debts, William Walker and others. Jack Munro appears to be a free person as he has an account in his own name (p.91). There are also long accounts with "Danel Tungit? Indion" (1739, p.11), "Simon Indian" (1729, p.40), who paid 10 pounds in cash; "Abraham Truck Indion" (1733, p.53), who paid with "your & mothers Negros mowing".

Mss 301 Folder 13: May 1777-Dec 1778

Bowen Family Papers

Accounts

4 Jan 1795

Providence

Ephraim Bowen's accounts as Deputy Quartermaster General include payments to Samboy for painting wagons (July 16, 1777).

Mss 301 Folder 5

Bowen Family Papers

Papers

1754

Providence

Ephraim Bowen: Papers and accounts kept as the executor of the estate of Peter Mawney include many references to the blacks owned by Mawney. A 1754 inventory names the slaves as Primus, Jenny, Prince, Cato, Pero, Rose, and Patience.

Mss 9001-B Box 12 Folder: Tiverton, Misc Accounts (1758-1804)

Briggs, Nathaniel

Papers

1758-1804

Tiverton

Throughout the accounts and letters are many references to slaves. Examples include, but are not limited to charges against sloop Union for wages of Paul Cuff and Newport (January 1776), Elisha Lawton's accounts for mending shoes for Briggs' servants (May 3, 1773), and an account of the sloop L'amiable which documents 8 negros being paid to help unload the ship (1776).

MICROFILM E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 12 Mss 9001-B Loose Vol.

Bristol Insurance Company

Requests

1800-1801

Bristol

The insurance industry was an integral part of the transatlantic slave trade, though from a discreet distance. This volume contains copies of approved requests for insurance by shipowners, covering only 1800 and 1801. The requests usually give some information on the proposed itinerary, and the expected value of the cargo; many are for voyages to Africa. 

Mss 9001-B Box 14

Brown, Ceasar

Promissory Note

14 Apr 1816

East Greenwich

Pay to Ephraim Spencer

Mss 9001-B Box 15

Brown, Joseph E.

Pension File

no date

Rhode Island

Pension file of African-American sailor in Civil War

Mss 9001-B Box 16

Browne, Esther

Declaration of Freedom

5 Jan 1781

Newport

Notice that with the payment of $40 from her husband, Sam, Peggy Easton is released from service and no longer under any obligation to Esther Browne or her heirs.

Mss 9001-B Box 17

Budlong, Rebecca

Correspondence

21 May 1858

Providence

Anonymous letter from Providence to Thomas Kenney, the editor of the Newark Advertiser in Newark, N.J., regarding Rebecca Budlong, who was "in the habit of visiting a colored barbers shop, a place of rendezvous for prostitutes," 5/21/1858.

Mss 325 Loose Vol: Ledger 1789-1800

Butler Family Papers Collection

Accounts

1789-1800

Providence

Belonging to Samuel Butler, entries of accounts with Quacco Butler from p. 8 forward.

Mss 9001-C Box 1

Caesar, John

Deed

1821

Cranston

Deed for sale of property from Caesar's estate to sons Benjamin, Charles C., Peter, Stephen, John and daughter Rhobe Lippitt.

Mss 9001-C Loose Vol.

Cahoone, Charles

Passenger Lists

1781-1787

Newport

Cahoone operated a packet boat to and from Providence. Records his passengers, including a few blacks.

Mss 9001-C Box 2, Folder 1: Estate of Timoth Dailey, 1804-1807

Carder, Randall

Estate 

29 Aug 1804

Warwick

Papers of the estate of Timothy Dailey, a black man. Claimants against the estate include Bristol Rhodes, Joseph Daily and others.

Mss 9001-C Loose Vol.

Carew, Zabdiel 

Accounts

12 Nov 1782

Providence

Charge to Nathaniel Green for making a coffin "for his Negro woman". Accounts are written on the back of pages in one of Carew's orderly book/morning report journals, possibly by someone other than Carew.

Mss 9001-C Box 4, Folder 1: Caleb Carr, d.1805

Carr, Caleb

Labor Records and Receipts

1758-1759

Newport

Supervising construction of Ft. George, pays Captain William Mumford for labor of Tom, pays John Brown, Jr. for labor of George, and charges the colony for work of his own negro.

Mss 9001-C Box 4 

Carr, Mary

Inventory

17 Dec 1746

Newport

Her estate inventory names "1 Negro man named Tom, 1 Negro woman named Phillis and Negro child named Violet."

Mss 9001-C Box 4, Folder 1: Robert Carr, 18 Dec 1666

Carr, Robert

Order

18 Dec 1666

Warwick

Order to "Humfumchag Subbondonset, Ehachabbin Quoanoscit" and their associates (formerly associates of Pomham) to cease planting within boundaries of Warwick Plantation.

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 8, Folder 16: Seaman's Ledgers 1815-1820

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1815-1820

Providence

Identified: Joseph Anson (Blk); Wm Nichols (Blk); Cupid Bowen listed but not identified as POC

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 8, Folder 19: Seaman's Ledgers 1819-1824

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1819-1824

Providence

Primus Bowen - Steward on ship Panther (not identified as POC)

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 8, Folder 2: Seaman's Ledgers 1821-1825

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1821-1825

Providence

Identified: on the Panther - Anchong (Chinese) young; Atong (Chinese) old man; Appoo (China Cook); on Gen. Hamilton- Sam (Chinese) Cook ; Primus Bowen - Steward on Ship Panther (not identified as POC)

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 8, Folder 20: Seaman's Ledgers 1820-1826

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1820-1826

Providence

Identified: Anchong (Chinese) Steward on ship Trumbull

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 1: Seaman's Ledgers 1824-1828

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1824-1828

Providence

Identified: Anchong (Chinaman) Steward on ship Edwards.

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 2: Seaman's Ledgers 1828-1831

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1828-1831

Providence

Identified: Apow (Chinaman) Steward on ship Franklin.

Mss 333 Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 3: Seaman's Ledgers 1831-1835

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1831-1835

Providence

Cupid Brown - Steward on ship Providence (not identified as POC)

Mss Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 5: Ships Laborers Ledgers 1815-1818

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1815-1818

Providence

Identified: Anthony Randall (Black); John Stout (Black); Ned (Blackman); Talbot (Blacky); Samuel (Black man); Prince (Black); Frances (Black); John (Negro); also listed but not identified as POC- Otis Cook; Cato; Prime Bowen; Cupid Brown; Taber

Mss Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 6: Ships Laborers Ledgers 1817-1818

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1815-1818

Providence

A listing for work done by "Chinese, the white one" for 3 1/2 days for which he was paid $3.

Mss Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 7: Ships Laborers Ledgers 1819-1822

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1819-1822

Providence

Identified: John Jackson (Blackman); Henry (Negro); Wm. Parish (Blk); Arfoo (Chinese)

Mss Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 1, Box 9, Folder 8: Ships Laborers Ledgers 1822-1823

Carrington Papers

Ledger

1822-1823

Providence

Listing for Two China Men, Sam & Tom; Cupid Brown is also listed but again, not identified as POC

Mss Subgroup 1, Series 5, Sub-Series 2, Box 9, Folder 9: Ships Laborers Account Books 1815-1819

Carrington Papers

Account Book

1815-1819

Providence

1815: Johnson, Negro, unloading B; Wm. Black; Prime Bowen, Cupid & Prentiss listed but not identified as POC; 1818: Bill (Blk); Tom (Blk); Tho Wm. (Blk); Jno (Blk); George (Blk); Spywood (Blk); John (Blk); Wm Hurriss (Blk); (Black) Henry; Prince, Negro; Jones, Negro; Negro; Wm. (Black) Johnson; Jos Gardery(sp?) (Blk); John (Blk)

Mss 333 Series 5

Carrington Papers 

Accounts

1815-1835

Providence

In Seaman's Ledger includes accounts with black crewman. Ledger books for labor done on ships and at Edward Carrington's estate include the names of Anthony Randall, John Stout, Pero, Prince, Prime Bowen, Cupid Bowen, Thomas, Ned, Talbot, Francis, John and others.

Mss 333 Series 1, Subseries 1: Incoming Correspondence, Box 9: Incoming Letters 1798-1809

Carrington Papers 

Correspondence

1806-1809

Providence

Letter from Benjamin Hoppin & Sons to Edward Carrington written June 4, 1807 and received by Carrington in Canton Dec. 14, 1807 "Benjamin Clifford mentions to our BH Jr. the other day the situation of your property on the Coast of Africa it requires immediate attention or it will be lost as in a very short time our African trade will be entirely at an end & your demand we understand is pay[able?] in slaves."

Microfilm HF5686 P25 C32 Mss 336 Loose Vol. 2, Ledger #1 (1768-1776)

Carter-Danforth Papers

Ledger

1768-1776

Providence

John Carter's Ledger (Journal) #1- Lists accounts with subscribers to the Providence Gazette including Tony Kinnicutt (p. 272), Negro Greenwich (p. 272), and Prince Keen (p. 311)

Mss 336 Loose Vol. 3 (1789-1828)

Carter-Danforth Papers

Journal

1789-1828

Providence

Journal of Job Danforth. Entries include a charge against Jacob Whitman for building "a bunk for Prince to sleep in" (p.57), accounts with Quacco Butler (p. 83), a felt hat for Hopestill McNeal's Scipio (p. 87), a coffin for an unidentified blackman of J. Whitman's (p. l45), and an account for making a coffin for the wife of John Hicks (p.177).

Mss 336 Loose Vol. 4 (1816-1817)

Carter-Danforth Papers

Accounts

1817

Providence

John Carter's Ledger A (1816-1817) includes an account kept with John Rogers (black man).

Mss 9001-C Box 5

Cary, Nathaniel

Accounts

15 Dec 1752, 25 Jul 1754

Bristol

Settles accounts with William Bradford for goods delivered to "yr negro" (December 15, 1752) and accounts with the estate of Nathan Miller including "To your order by Primus" (July 25, 1754).

Mss 341 Box 11, Vol. 4, p. 127

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

Aug 1790

Newport

Manne Green is identified in a deposition as a laborer.

Mss 341 Box 11, Vol. 4, p. 129

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

13 Aug 1790

Newport

Judgement re James Sampson, Indian, of South Kingstown.

Mss 341 Box 16, Vol. 6, p. 51

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

25 Jan 1802

Newport

Letter from David Howell to William Ellery, mentioning "Black woman Belinda (and) Hammond Tanner a Black man." 

Mss 341 Box 16, Vol. 6, pages 35, 37, 43

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

1799, 1801

Newport

Letters between William Ellery & David Barnes; 15 Oct 1799- re sale of the Brig Orange, slave traders mentioned; 1 Nov 1799- foreign vessels must be given bonds re the slave trade; 3 Jan 1801- opinion that no cargo is forfeited (if vessel is employed in slave trade) unless it is on board at time of capture

Mss 341 Box 17, Vol. 6, p. 71

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers

4 Mar 1805

Newport

Letter from David Howell to William Ellery re James Robertson vs. Philip M. Topham for a breach of the law preventing the slave trade

Mss 341 Box 21, Vol. 7, p. 251

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

4 Sept 1819, 5 Sept 1819

Newport

Letters between William Ellery and John Cahoone discussing a Portuguese schooner caught near Bristol which was fitted out for the slave trade.

Mss 341 Box 3, Vol. 1, p. 175

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

22 Oct 1773

Newport

William Ellery of Newport settles accounts with Samuel Hully for "cutting yr Negro a Jackitt"

Mss 341 Box 8, Vol. 3, p. 109

Channing-Ellery Papers

Papers 

23 Jun 1786

Newport

As commissioner of the Continental Loan Office, William Ellery sold certificates to Prince Bent, Jehu Quaco and others.

Mss 713 Vol. 3: 4/02/1863-8/16/1864

Charles A. Shaw Papers

Diary

18 Aug 1863

Providence

"A week ago there came to our house Aunt Julia and Nannie and two children and a nigger girl" [8/14/1863]

Mss 713 Vol. 4: 8/18/1864-11/16/1865

Charles A. Shaw Papers

Diary

Sept 1864

Providence

"Soon the door opens, waiter enters holding my card, says 'Miss Smith does not have the acquaintance of the gentleman.' I smile, darkey smiles, and we proceed to the door." [9/01/1864]; "So went up and rang the door [to the governor's], the door was opened by a darkey . . ." [9/07/1864]

*Mss 191

Charlestown Town Records Collection

Bond

7 Jan 1793

Charlestown

"Bond as guardian to James Davis Negro and his Estate to leting up two notifications for all that have any tradings with said James, to come to us for settlement, and to trade with James no more." 

Mss 191 Series 4 Box 1, Folder 11: Receipts & Bills 1760-1880

Charlestown Town Records Collection

Bill

7 Jan 1793

Charlestown

Benjamin Hoxley Jr for the Estate of James Backus Negro.

Mss 191 Series 4 Box 1, Folder 11: Receipts & Bills 1760-1880

Charlestown Town Records Collection

Settlement

18 Apr 1825

Charlestown

Simeon Tucker accounts as Guardian to James Freeman one of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians

Mss 9001-C Box 7

Christ Church (Episcopal) 

Records

1841-1851

Providence

One of the first African-American Episcopal churches in the country. A June 1849 letter from Prince Loveridge questions the placing of a white clergyman in the church. He writes, " ...that a Colored minister would do more for that people than the most talented white man that can be found. "

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20

Christopher Champlin Papers

Papers

1700-1840

Newport

Champlin was a Newport merchant who invested occasionally in the slave trade. These records include records for supplying the slave schooner Adventure from 1763-1774; labor accounts for slaves hired out by Champlin to other masters; and the 1762 bill of sale of a slave named Bristow Rhodes. There are also several folders of deeds and depositions dated 1700-1761 relating to an estate dispute among the Narragansetts, for which Champlin served as Thomas Ninigret's trustee.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 4: Miscellaneous, Box 9

Christopher Champlin Papers

Estate

1700 - 1757

Newport

Charlestown lands deeded from Narragansett Sachems and others to the Champlins; depositions concerning the parentage of Charles and George Ninegret (Champlin seemed to support Charles); Sachem deed to the Narragansett Church; accounts and receipts to Christopher Champlin, guardian of Thomas Ninegret, infant sachem (1752); appraisal of Nicholas Easton land; leases; deed of sale for a slave; power of attorney to Abraham Redwood Ellery. Accounts with the estate of Thomas Ninigret with renters listed, including "Negro William" and William Mustee.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 4

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

29 Oct 1762

Newport

Capt. John Peck, Newport. Re: slaving voyage. Copy of Peck's Order.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 5

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

8 Nov 1762

Newport

Samuel Chace to Chiristopher Champlin, re: shares in the Privateer Speedwell due Chace via. his servant Cesar Chase or Cesar Fry.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 8

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

25 Dec 1774

Newport

Henry Gardner to Christopher Champlin, re: Prince Miller, runaway, staved away on a ship to Philadelphia.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 9a

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

14 Feb 1775

Kingston, Jamaica

Joseph & Eliphalet Fitch to Christopher Champlin, re: "good market for negroes", Kingston, Jamaica

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 9b

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

6 Oct 1775

Jamaica

Robert Champlin to Christopher Champlin, re: "in hopes my slaves…" Jamaica

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 4, Folder 1: Ship Records - Schooner Adventure, 1763-1774

Christopher Champlin Papers

Crew List 

1766

Newport

"Bristol Champlin, slave" appears on crew lists

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 4, Folder 1: Ship Records - Schooner Adventure, 1763-1774

Christopher Champlin Papers

Crew List

1771

Newport

"Tosh" (or Tack) Sisson appears on crew list for sloop Adventure

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 4, Folder 1: Ship Records - Schooner Adventure, 1763-1774

Christopher Champlin Papers

Ship Record

1773

Newport

"Ephraim Meves--Mulatto seaman"; "Frank, servant to Doctor Eyres"

*Mss 20

Christopher Champlin Papers

Crew List

1794

Newport

Quash Vernon appears on crew list snow Elizabeth

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 5, Folder 10: Brigantine George, 1757-1782 (Privateer of war)

Christopher Champlin Papers

Accounts

1757

Newport

Brigatine George accounts with Joseph Hull, Cuff Godfrey, Prince Lillibridge. Crew list includes "negro amas," Thomas Atwood's "negro Scipio," and James Tosh

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 5, Folder 10: Brigantine George, 1757-1782 (Privateer of war)

Christopher Champlin Papers

Crew list

1758

Newport

Brigatine George crew list includes Obediah Cezar, Ebenezer Cezar, Ned Stoddard, Cezar Steven, Boston Malbone, Jack Bowler, Cezar Malbone, Ben Negro, Prince Gould

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 2, Box 5, Folder 19a: Ship Peggy, 1773-1776 (victualizing)

Christopher Champlin Papers

Accounts

1775

Newport

Accounts of his ship Peggy, includes names of Hicks, James Carr and Sirlone Jepson

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 3, Box 7, Folder 1760-1764 (2)

Christopher Champlin Papers

Account

10 Jul 1760

Newport

Peleg Thurston's accounting of includes charge for labor of "my negro"

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 3, Box 7, Folder 1770-1772 (2)

Christopher Champlin Papers

Account

1770

Newport

Jeremiah Phillips account includes making shoes for "Your negro woman"

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 4, Box 9, Folder 13

Christopher Champlin Papers

Deed

4 Dec 1712-18 Jun 1731

Newport

"Deed of land to Christopher Champlin from the Committee Appointed to Assist Ninnegret in Disposing Some of his Lands."

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 4, Box 9, Folder 13

Christopher Champlin Papers

Deposition

18 Oct 1752

Newport

Deposition of Jonathan Kinyon of Charlestown, Richmond, regarding a deed of land from George Ninegrett.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 4, Box 9, Folder 14: Wills Deeds Leases 1790-1813

Christopher Champlin Papers

Manumission

11 Jun 1796

Newport

George, Irish - Manumission of Will June 11, 1796 Will, a black man, bought his freedom.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss 20 Series 4, Box 9, Folder 6: Financial Records, Misc.

Christopher Champlin Papers

Deed

11 Aug 1762

Newport

Deed from Simon Rhodes of Stonington Conn. to Christopher Champlin of Newport, August 11 1762, of "one certain negro man about thirty years of age known by the name of Bristow Rhodes." 

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 1, Folder 2

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

29 June 1756

Boston

Stephen W. Greenlease to Wilkinson & Ayrault, re: invoice for slave, Boston

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 1, Folder 6

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

28 Mar 1763

New Providence

Samuel Moses to Christopher Champlin, re: news of a slave voyage, New Providence

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 8, Folder 8

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

22 Apr 1774

Granada

Threlfal & Anderson to Christopher & George Champlin, re: slaves, Granada

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 8, Folder 8

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

22 Apr 1774

Granada

Threlfal & Anderson to Christopher & George Champlin, re: sell slaves at St. K, Granada

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 8, Folder 9

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

23 Oct 1775

Kingston, Jamaica

Joseph & Eliphalet Fitch to Christopher & George Champlin, re: "sellling slave", Kingston

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 1-9, 27 Mss Series 1, Box 8, Folder 9b

Christopher Champlin Papers

Correspondence

10 Dec 1775

Barbados

Samuel & James K. Went to Christopher Champlin, re: "rec'd 92 slaves"

Mss 406

Christopher Ellery Papers

Deed of sale

26 Oct 1796

Newport

In his copybook, 1795-99, he recorded a deed of sale of Stephen (born in Georgia) and Benjamin (born on Block Island) to Benoni Hill. These are the children of a Mulatto woman named Minta. Minta is the servant of Catherine and Miller (nee Greene).

Mss 673 sg 4 Loose Vol. 38: Guard Duty Reports, July-Oct 1862

Civil War Military Papers 

Guard Book

1862

Rhode Island

Guard Duty Reports for 3rd Regiment of Heavy Artillery at Fort Seward gives records of unknown "contrabands" (freed slaves) imprisoned in the Civil War. In the "List of Prisoners" the reasons for imprisonment are frequently listed as stealing or drunkenness.

Mss 673 sg 4 Box 7: Enlistments, 1863-65

Civil War Military Papers 

Records

Aug 1863-Oct 1865

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Fourteenth Regiment, Heavy Artillery: Morning reports, Company A, Jan 1864-Oct 1865; Orders, 1865

Mss 673 sg 4 Vol. 53: Orderly Book, Apr 1864-Jan 1865

Civil War Military Papers 

Orderly Book

1864-1865

Rhode Island

2nd Division, 18th U.S. Army Corps Orderly book, Special order No.69 states that "Colored troops will be posted in rear of the Centre of each Brigade on the entrenched line."

Mss 673 sg 4 Box 8

Civil War Military Papers 

Records

1865

Rhode Island

Includes the following records of the Forty-first Regiment U.S. Infantry (Colored): Quartermaster's store, 1865; Statement of charges on muster and payrolls, 1865; Inventory and inspection report, 1865

Mss 110 Series 2: Doboy Steam Mill & Lumber Company, Loose Vol. 1

Clark Sayles Papers

Accounts

1852-1855

Georgia

Steam Saw mill at Doboy Island, at the mouth of the Altamaha River in Georgia. Account book - African-America Labor (Slaves) Aug 1852-Sept 1855

Mss 110 Series 2: Doboy Steam Mill & Lumber Company, Box 1

Clark Sayles Papers

Records

1851-1854

Georgia

Slaves Hired, May 1851-Aug 1854, undated

Mss 1127 Box 2 Folder 14: Mary (Foster) Clark, Correspondence from Joseph Clark (1806-1812)

Clark/Church Family Papers

Correspondence

26 Feb 1807

Rhode Island

Letter from Joseph Clark to his wife Mary (Foster) Clark dated Feb. 26, 1807 from Savannah: "My Sailors & Cook have letters from their friends - My Mate Mr. Hopkins found a letter here from his Wife, all my people - even my cook, although he is a very Dark sind Man had a letter."

Mss 351 Box 1 Folder: Clarke, Celia G. Diary, 1829

Clarke Family Papers

Diary 

1829

Newport

Celia G. Clarke, Diary 1829 : Includes extensive descriptions of work done by servants, who were undoubtedly Afro-American. Their names included John, Prince, Judy and Caesar.

Mss 351 Box 2 Fodler: Clarke, Peleg & Audley- Correspondence (re: Brig Sally, 1794-1801)

Clarke Family Papers

Crew List

1796

Newport

Clarke, Peleg & Audley- Correspondence (re: Brig Sally, 1794-1801). Photostats, includes a Crew list, 1796: named- Pero Nichols and Jack Rogers (cook).

Mss 351 Box 4 Joseph Clarke Personal Record Book

Clarke Family Papers

Records

1662

Newport

Joseph Clarkes' personal record book ca. 1750, in volume with original official Westerly Town Record Book cover 1669-1702. Westerly town record book with copies of town meetings including deeds and agreements with Narragansett Indians on pages 8-12 dated 1662.

Mss 351 Loose Vol. 1 Ledger, 1771-1777

Clarke Family Papers

Ledger

1771-1777

Newport

Ethan Clarke's accounts include Quaco Ward of Westerly (p.101), James Shote - Indian soldier, (p.143) and possibly other people of color.

Mss 351 Oversize Box 3 Folder: Accounts with Clarke and Hammond, 1792-1795

Clarke Family Papers

Accounts

1792-1795

Newport

Ethan Clarke's accounts with Clarke & Hammond include pay to Sampson.

Mss 351 Oversize Box 3 Folder: Factory Ledger, 1785-1786

Clarke Family Papers

Ledger

1785-1786

Newport

Ethan Clarke's factory ledger records hire of and accounts with blacks.

Mss 351 Oversize Box 3 Folder: Journal, 1797-1798

Clarke Family Papers

Journal

1797-1798

Newport

Ethan Clarke's journal records hire of "Mr. Hamilton's negro."

Mss 350

Clarke Indian Manuscripts

Deeds/Depositions

1641-1787

Washington County

This collection, ranging from 1641-1787, consists of copies of original deeds and depositions relating to Indians in Rhode Island. The material is primarily deeds for Narragansett Indian lands in southern Rhode Island with the many in Charlestown. There are also several folders of testimony regarding the rightful successor as Sachem of the Narragansetts after the death of Sachem Charles Ninigret in 1735. The individuals competing for the title of Sachem were Charles Ninigret Jr., George Ninigret, and his son, Thomas. See Finding Aid for detailed list of individual documents.

Mss 9001-C Box 9

Coggeshall, Elisha

Will

1803-1805

Newport

In his will, he manumits Jane and makes provision for Mark.

Mss 9001-C Box 9, Folder 1: Last Will & Testament, 31 Mar 1762

Coggeshall, Thomas

Will

31 Mar 1762

Newport

Last will and testament willing various unnamed negroes to family members.

Mss 9001-C Box 10

Collins, James

Will

1758

Newport

In his last will, he leaves Brislow, Pegg, Phillis, and Violet to his children.

Microfilm E263 R4 G833 Mss 455

Colonel Christopher Greene Collection

Papers



Papers of Col. Christopher Greene, including orderly books, 10/5/1776- 6/11/1777, and returns of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, 1776-1779. Includes return of casualties in the black regiment which would include men injured or killed in the Battle of Red Bank, and other papers, 1777-1781 (7 items).

Mss 470 Series I, Box 1, Folder 13: Pocket Expense Book, 1800-1803

Colonel William Greene Papers

Accounts

1801-1803

Warwick

Records payments for labor of Newport Hall in his pocket expense record.

Mss 673 sg 1 Folder: 1739-1747, Typescript List of Soldiers

Colonial Militia Collection

List

1739-1747

Rhode Island

Includes Cuff Bannister (Privateer Revenge, 1740), Newport Coffin (Capt. Cole's Co., 1745), Frank Pelham (Privateer Revenge, 1740), Sampson Quimons (Capt. Champlin's Co., 1745) and others.

Mss 673 sg 1 Folder: 1757, Aug 17: Muster Roll of Newport County Regiment

Colonial Militia Collection

Muster roll

17 Aug 1757

Rhode Island

"Muster Roll of that part of the Regiment raised in the Colony of Rhode Island for the Present Expedition which marched out of the county of Newport." under the command of Col. Andrews.

One of the names listed in the 3rd Division reads: "Josiah an Indian"

Mss 673 sg 1 Folder: 1758, Jan 12: Pay List of Capt. Daniel Wall's Company

Colonial Militia Collection

Pay Roll

Jan-Apr 1758

Providence

Includes names of Jacob Ceasar, Ceasar Sambo, Peter Cheese, and Benjamin Negro.

Mss 673 sg 1 Folder: 1758, Oct 26: Account of Men from Babcock's Regiment in Hospital in Albany

Colonial Militia Collection

List

Jun-Oct 1758

Rhode Island

Account...of the Rhode Island Regiment of Provincials [with] His Majesty's Hospital at Albany [New York] Includes the name of Primas Harris of Capt. Tew's Company.

Mss 9001-C Box 11

Committee of Defence [sic]

Records

1814

Providence

Minutes of the meetings of the Committee of Defence which was an organization created by the citizens of Providence to defend Rhode Island against attack by the British during the War of 1812. On the inside front cover is a tally of the number of days of labor contributed by various groups toward the building of fortifications around Providence and surrounding towns. One of the groups was the "Free People of Color" who contributed a total of 96 days of labor. The minutes for Oct. 1, 1814 document that a letter was received by the "Free People of Color" offering their services. On Oct. 2, 1814 the committee assigned Wednesday [Oct. 5, 1814] as the day they would labor on the fortifications.

Microfilm HQ 1438. R45 Pt 2 Reel 3 (Diary begins at Frame 0824) Mss 363 Box 2 Folder 18

Congdon Family Papers

Diary 

1841

East Greenwich

Diary of Cynthia (Sprague) Congdon 1841-1842, the white wife of a sea captain, with the following entries: "Ma went to the schoolhouse to a Negro meeting" (presumably Abolitionist) [2/27/1841]. "I am going to the Indians meeting this PM... Heard the Indians preach again, the house was crowded I do not think I seen such an assemblage since I visited the Masonic Hall. They talked extremely well and it was really wonderful to hear them speak of the Bible and bring forward their illustrations. Ignorant and unlearned as they were, one of them could not read a word he was the best speaker and one to have heard him would have supposed him well versed in the language of scripture." [3/21/1841]

Microfilm HQ 1438. R45 Pt 2 Reel 4 (Diary begins at Frame 0896) Mss 363 Box 2 Folder 34

Congdon Family Papers

Diary 

1854

East Greenwich

Diary of Mary R. (Congdon) Carstein Dearstyne 1854-1855 while on the Hannah Thornton sailing from New York to New Orleans via the Bahamas. Includes the following: "Passed several sugar plantations. First you would see the sugar mill then the masters house surrounded by orange trees then the slave houses which are all built along in a row they are very nice little houses. Each has its barrel before it to catch rain... One poor slave woman came on board [the ship] wanted washing." [12/25/1854]

Mss 936

Congdon Street Baptist Church Records

Records

1875-1994

Providence

This collection includes minutes, reports, programs, newspaper clippings, historical notes, and memorabilia of one of Rhode Island's leading African- American churches. See Finding Aid for list/location of individual documents.

Mss 9001-C Box 11

Congdon, Benjamin

Inventory

1756

North Kingston

Estate inventory which includes "Old Tom and Old Jeana," Cuff, Binah, Tent and her four children, and Janna.

Mss 9001-C Box 11

Congdon, Francis

Inventory

21 Aug 1775

North Kingston

Estate inventory which values Desire, Tom and Toney.

Mss 9001-C Box 12

Congdon, Joseph

Accounts

1777-1779

Providence

Accounts with saltworks name Yerrow (Yarrow) Simms, Primas, and William Sims.

Mss 9001-C Box 13 

Cook, Thomas, Sr.

Papers

1721, 1760

Tiverton

Cook's papers include a 1721 bill of sale for Experience and his 1760 will in which she is manumitted. 

Mss 1058 Series 4, Box 4, Folder 49

Cool Moose Party Records

Correspondence

1998

Rhode Island

Federal discrimination suit, "Black Owners/Investors of Broad St. Car Wash, Inc. vs. State of Rhode and Lincoln Almond and et als." Correspondence and supporting documents, 1998.

Mss 366 Folder: Dispute with Daniel Barlett

Cooper Family Papers

Papers

22 Nov 1751

Glocester

Moses Cooper, d. 1805. Papers include: Original bill of sale from Stephen Arnold for "Jack"; complaint against Daniel Bartlett for persuading Jack to run away.

Mss 9001-C Box 15

Crawford, Joseph Jr.

Accounts

Mar 1770

Providence

Settles accounts with Benjamin Coates for "mending for Antoney."

Mss 9001-C Box 16

Cushing, Benjamin

Will

1773

Providence

In his will, he leaves to his daughter "My Negrowoman who is already living with her" (1773).

Mss 9001-C Loose Vol.

Cushing, Benjamin

Account Book

1769-1797

Providence

Accounts with William Mingo (August 26, 1771) p. 43, Franscisco (September 20, 1771) p. 46, and William Cesar (October 14, 1771) p. 49.

Mss 9001-D Box 1 Folder: Daggett, Israel, Jr. Rehoboth, Bill of Sale for Quom to Israel Daggett, Sr. 31 May 1768

Daggett, Israel, Jr.

Bill of Sale 

31 May 1768

Bristol

Sale of "one Negro Boy Named Quom about Eighteen Months Old" to Israel Daggett, Sr.

Reading Room F89 .S7 S733 2003 Mss 1129

Daniel Stedman Diary

Journal

1829-1859

South Kingstown

This diary was kept by a farmer and shoemaker in South Kingstown, RI. He makes notes of deaths, births, marriages and daily happenings in the town. The RIHS owns both the original diary and a published transcription of it. The published version is indexed extensively and includes notes on Indians but does not index comments on African-Americans. He does note the deaths of people of color in the community but those deaths have not been indexed using race as an indicator. Below are some abstracts from the diary which mention people of color.

Reading Room F89 .S7 S733 2003 Mss 1129

Daniel Stedman Diary

Journal

1829-1859

South Kingstown

Death of Samuel Norake 3/1/1826 and death of Philis Peckham 3/5/1826 "Died very sudden Pat Dimmis a colored person at the Widow Sweet's, Lay down in Liqur and wnet to Sleep and Never awoke." [4/28/1827] "The Indians took up Pat Dimmis and Caried her to Charlestown to Bury [5/9/1827] "I worked for J.N. Potter he had Sambo Potter (a man of color). Two Squaws Stopt to bottom our Chairs. bottom'd Six." [6/30/1830] "I went to the meeting house to meeting. Expected the Indians but few of them Come." [3/25/1832] "I went to the Meeting house to meeting the Indians Came their and held the meeting. Moses Stanton their minister preached." [10/7/1832] "Rowland G. Hazard & Isaiah P. Hazard make a Great Business of making Cloths to Send away of Different kinds they have made the Negro goods for Some time they have three or fore to Cut all the time." [2/1839] "They begin to Dig the Seller for the Church house at Wakefield. They found some man's bones, Supposed to be an Indian's." [6/1839] "The Indians from Long Island had a meeting at the B. meetinghouse but an Englishman Preached that Come with them." [8/17/1841] "Some Indians from Penabscot, State of Main, pitched there tents in M. Chappell, Esqr.'s Lot and acted there Manuvers." [5/11/1842]

Mss 9001-D Loose Vol.

Dauchy, Marie

Diary 

1836

Providence

Diary of a white woman passing through Providence in 1836, who described a celebration in honor of the 200th anniversary of Roger Williams' landing in Providence: “We were told that all the Indians in the state would be gathered, and dinner prepared of corn, beans, fish, venison and such like as was used by the natives and first English inhabitants”.

Mss 1119 Folder 1: Ledger, 1797-1844

David Lake Family Papers

Account Book


Tiverton

Lake's labor account book as a carpenter includes his account with partnership of Lemuel Milk and Paul Cuffe, billing for "work done on their ship" (pages 15-18 and 23). Paul Cuffe was probably the most successful African-American merchant of the early republic. Although Cuffe generally hired other African-Americans for his ship's crew, census records suggest that Lake was white. Cuffe paid Lake in cash, sugar and lottery tickets. 

Mss 605 Folder 526

David Patten Papers

Correspondence

28 Sep 1933


Letter from Caroline Hazard of Peace Dale to Patten, September 28 1933, expressing plans to support "a young negro taking his M.A. at the Yale Divinity School. Dean Weigle tells me that he is not only a good colored student, but a fine student by any standard."

Mss 629 sg 11

Davis Family Papers 

Records

1835

North Kingstown

Records of a family who manufactured “Negro cloth”. Jeffrey Davis (1780-1854) and Ezra Davis (1779-1863) were partners in a successful woolen mill, E. & J. Davis. William Dean Davis, Jeffrey's son, joined the business in 1835. One of the products made at the mill was a durable and inexpensive fabric called "Negro Plain" which was sold to southern plantation owners to outfit their slaves.

Mss 629 sg 11 Box 1, Folder 12: Exercise Book, ca 1795-1802

Davis Family Papers 

Exercise Book

c. 1795-1802

North Kingstown

James Dean Davis's exercise book: includes a play script "A Dialogue between Mercury and an English Duelist. A Noth American Savage" on page 134, transcription of "dialogue of the dead" between an Englishman and a Mohawk "savage" who have both died of wounds inflicted via actions they took under the laws of their respective cultures (1796 entry)

Mss 629 sg 11 Box 1, Folder 34: Correspondence, ca1829-1873 and undated

Davis Family Papers 

Correspondence

25 Sep 1831

North Kingstown

Letter to William Dean Davis from his sister, Abby Davis brief mention of Providence race riots. 

Mss 629 sg 11 Box 1, Folder 34: Correspondence, ca1829-1873 and undated

Davis Family Papers 

Correspondence

1 May 1840

Matanzas

Letter to William Dean Davis from his brother, George A. Davis describing in detail, the execution of a "negro" in Matanzas for "killing his wife and the overseer on the estate of his master."

Mss 378 Vol 2, p. 135

Deed Book Collection

Receipt

13 Jul 1780

Providence

Receipt given by Henry Bacon who agrees to hold for Mingo Bentley "free negroman of Providence" the amount of his soldier's bounty.

Mss 378 Vol 2, p. 97

Deed Book Collection

Receipt

6 Jun 1785

Cranston

Obadiah Brown receipt for a slave exchanged to settle suit between two men.

Mss 378 Vol. 2, p. 136

Deed Book Collection

Will

c. 1780

Providence

Last will and testament of Mingo Bentley of Providence who leaves everything to his wife Finda Sweeting, servant of Job Sweeting.

Mss 378 Vol. 4, Folder 100

Deed Book Collection

Deposition

5 Jan 1758

Providence

Deposition of Mary Sheldon re: illness of "Negro Violet", a slave who had been sold from Thomas Angell to Peleg Williams

Mss 378 Vol. 5, Folder 6

Deed Book Collection

Deed

2 Oct 1717

Providence

Deed of sale from John Crawford to Jeremiah Whipple for a negro boy about 10 years of age named Lhazper.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 10 (Account Book 1814-1815 begins on Frame 0698) Mss 382 Box 7, Vol. 6, p. 76

DeWolf Family Papers

Account Book

1814-1816

Rhode Island

Account Book of brigantine Yankee (1814-1815), entry for Cuffee Cockroach

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reels 9-11 Mss 382

DeWolf Family Papers

Papers

1751-1864

Rhode Island

A large collection of papers from Rhode Island's most notorious slave-trading family. Though these papers do not go into the slave trade in any great depth, there are several lists of slaves sold, and the trade is mentioned periodically throughout the correspondence. They also include accounts and slave lists from the family sugar plantation in Cuba, 1818-1852. See Finding Aid for detailed list of individual documents.

Mss 67 Box 3

Dexter Asylum 

Indenture

1828-1844

Providence

Indentures include contracts on blacks. Seven people: 5 in 1828, 1 in 1840 and 1 in 1842 (3 women and 4 men)

Mss 9001-D Box 2, Folder 2: Account with Job Smith, 1831

Dexter, Edward

Account

1794-1796

Providence

His accounts settled with Job Smith names Sukey.

Mss 9001-D Loose Vol.

Dexter, John

Account

1820

Smithfield

Account book records payment to Cezar (possibly "Henery"??) Arnold.

Mss 965

Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) Records, 1986-1996.

Records

1986-1996

Providence

Community organization founded in 1986, based in South Providence, with largely African-American membership. Also addresses Latino and Asian-American concerns. The collection includes records of DARE's campaigns during its first ten years of existence. In addition, there are some administrative records, including minutes, grant applications, fundraising, and intern records. See Finding Aid for box list of grouped documents.

Mss 232 sg 4 

Direct Tax Records

Records

1798

Rhode Island

These records list property owners in North Kingstown, Providence, Richmond, Smithfield, and Warwick. Several of these property owners in each town are identified as black. Newport Brown is shown as the only black property owner on Benefit Street in Providence, for example. For some towns, the lists give very detailed descriptions of the dwelling houses that were taxed. In addition, there are schedules for slave ownership in Richmond, Smithfield and Warwick. Only one slave owner was taxed in Smithfield: Job Arnold, who owned one unnamed slave aged between 12 and 50. Benjamin Greene was the only slave-owner taxed in Warwick, with two unnamed slaves. David Larkin of Richmond was taxed for a 23-year-old slave, and Peleg Wilcox of Richmond was taxed for a 16-year-old slave. See Finding Aid for detailed list of individual documents. Some are available on Microfilm. Microfilm HJ9013 P9 1798 -1798 Direct Tax List A and List B for Providence, Microfilm HJ 9013 .R4 R4 1798 - 1798 Direct Tax List A and List B for Richmond, Smithfield and Warwick

Mss 232 sg 4 Loose Vol.

Direct Tax Records

Records

1798-1800

Rhode Island

Record book of the "Rhode Island Board of Commissioners...for valuation and enumeration of 1798". Includes minutes and resolutions, state-wide summary abstracts of all schedules, and records of payments made to collectors, 1798-1800: pages 70-71, give the number of slaves in each town (there were 168 slaves counted for the entire state); page 19 gives the commission's brief instructions for enumerating slaves.

Microfilm HJ9013 P9 1798 (Providence), HJ9013 R4 R4 1798 (Richmond, Smithfield, Warwick) Mss 232 sg 4

Direct Tax Records

Tax Records

1798

Rhode Island

Page 19 states that lists should be prepared showing names and ages of slaves; page 70-71 has "summary abstract of all slaves owned and superintended"

Mss 9001-D Box 4: Account Books 1790-1795

Dods, George

Accounts

1790-1796

Providence

An account book for Brown, Benson shows payments for the labor of Solomon and Thomas.

Mss 165 Series 2 Personal Accounts Box 1, Folder 10: 1790-1794

Dr. Isaac Senter Papers

Accounts

1790-1794

Pawtuxet

Receipts for work done by John Remington during 1787-1793, the receipts includes many entries for making or mending shoes for unnamed "Negro" and "Negro boy" and also for "Negro Prince." Receipt for work done by Mary Myrick dated October 23, 1792 with a charge for "Making a Coat for your Servant." Receipt from Henry Fowler of Jamestown dated March 24, 1793 "to 3 fearages your two Sons and a Negro man 25 cents." Receipt for account with Jonathan Hull for 1788-1791 which includes entries for "to Mak a Vest & Pr overalls for Negro" and "To Altering a Pr Breeches for Negro."

Mss 165 Series 3 Medical Accounts Box 1, Folder 24: 1793-1802

Dr. Isaac Senter Papers

Accounts

1793-1802

Pawtuxet

In the 1793-1802 account book, Dr. Isaac Senter names as patients, Dutchess Gibbs, Cudjo Gibbs, and probably other blacks. 

Mss 165 Series 6 Senter Family Papers Oversized Vol. 18: Horace Senter: Ledger, 1801-1807

Dr. Isaac Senter Papers

Accounts

1801-1807

Pawtuxet

Dr. Horace Senter documents attending to Cudjo Gibbs, Cato Barker, Dutchess Channing, Maria, Cuff Simmons, Zingo Stevens; arranged alphabetically.

Mss 9001-D Box 5

Drown, Henry B.

Receipt

10 Dec 1840

North Providence

Pays Samuel Cesar for digging and stoning cellar at Fruit Hill.

Mss 9001-D Box 5, Folder: Account Book, misc.

Drowne, William

Account Book

1784-1786

Providence

Lists sale to Ceaser Rice and Negro Condon (December 1785), p.14; Theodore Foster candles delivered by a Negro girl (May 6, 1787), p. 40; account settled with Solomon Drowne for cash paid to Sisco (June 1784), last page.

Mss 9001-D Box 5

Dyre, William

Indenture

24 Sep 1791

South Kingston

Bill of sale and terms of slavery for Violet (age 2) from Prince and Violet Dyre. “...that said Negro Servant Child, Violet, from and after said Term of twenty years shall be forever absolved manumited and discharged from the bonds of Slavery and Servitude...”

Mss 459 Box 1, Folder 11: Accounts, 1810-1814

E & C Greene Records

Agreement

30 Apr 1811

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Agreement with Job Sambo to rent Nichols lot for $56.78 payable in building a stone wall on the property.

Mss 459 Box 1, Folder 11: Accounts, 1810-1814

E & C Greene Records

Note 

6 Sep 1813

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Note from Samuel Primus to settle his accounts.

Mss 459 Box 1, Folder 17: Accounts, 1819

E & C Greene Records

Promissory Note

3 Feb 1819

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Mark of Cato Sweet on a note to pay $35.20.

Mss 459 Box 1, Folder 25: Accounts, 1827

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

11 Dec 1827

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Accounts receipt settled with Jeramiah Slocum for making shoes for "black Hannah" (March 10, 1826).

Mss 459 Box 1, Folder 3: Account book for the Rhode Island Central Bank, 1807-1818, also includes a labor record, 1822-1825

E & C Greene Records

Labor Record

1822

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Labor record includes agreement for work of George Gardner, September 1822. 

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 1, Blotter, 1803-1807

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1803-1807

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Blotter notes (in back of book) indicate Mr. Howard & Lady "...8 Days lost at Negro Election..." June 30, 1806 and include store accounts for food of Cudgo, September 1805. Within the ledger is an account with Cuff Spencer, September 9, 1805.

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 11, Ledger, 1788-1796

E & C Greene Records

Ledger

1788-1796

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Ledger includes sales and service to Prince Hammon (p. 82 & 122), Samuel Sambow (p. 120 & 145) and Job Sambow (included in the index).

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 13, Ledger, 1803-1816

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1803-1816

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Ledger registers accounts with Jack Gardner (p. 55, 188), Samuel Sambo (p. 58, 269, 332, 341), Cuff Spencer (p. 86), Nicholas Howard (p. 88, 125), Job Sambo (p. 90, 364), Cato Rome (p. 123), Windsor Gardner (p. 332), Peru Weaver (p. 393).

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 2, Day book, 1786-1792

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1786-1792

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Daybook includes labor agreement and accounts with Samuel Sambow, 1790 (in the back of the book). Records a day Sambow lost to the "negro election," June 1790.

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 4, Day book, 1807-1810

E & C Greene Records

Day Book

19 Nov 1810

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Labor agreement with Samuel Sambo, November 19, 1810.

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 6, Day book, 1816-1819

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1816

Warwick/ East Greenwich

In the front of the ledger is a note which indicates that Chris Sambo began work July 14 (no year). In the back of the ledger is a labor agreement for Ceasar Brown commencing work December 3, 1816 to work three and a half months at seven and a half dollars per month.

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 7, Day book, 1819-1827

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1819

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Daybook (in the back of book) includes labor agreements and accounts with Mr. Fortune Dyer, "Colored Man" September 17, 1819 and Cato Sweet, March 25, 1819.

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 8, Journal, 1798-1801

E & C Greene Records

Accounts

1798-1801

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Journal includes accounts with Cuff Spencer, 1798-1800 (p. 5, 153).

Mss 459 Loose Vol. 9, Labor book, 1826-1829

E & C Greene Records

Labor Book

2 Apr 1827

Warwick/ East Greenwich

Record of William Thomas "black boy," April 2, 1827.

Mss 9001-E Box 1 

Earle, William

Accounts

1766-1768

Providence

Settles account with Prince Milard for five days work (17 Dec 1766); settles account with Simeon Potter of Bristol for labor of himself, Gibb Negro and other unnamed black men (1767); record of accounts with John Waterman include prices for men women and children slaves (1768)

Mss 9001-E Loose Vol. Ship Accounts, 1744-1777

Earle, William

Accounts

17 Dec 1766

Providence

Accounts list Negro James (1774), Hamlet (1774-76), Greenwich (1774), "my negro Cuggo" (1775-76), "my negro Tom" (1775), and possibly others.

Mss 9001-E Box 2

Easton, Elizabeth

Will

7 Jul 1800

Newport

In her will she emancipates Violet and Rose and leaves personal property to Violet.

Mss 9001-E Box 2 Folder: Easton, Jonathan (Newport) d. 1796 (1754-1785) 

Easton, Jonathan

Will, Manumission

22 May 1777, 3 Jan 1783

Newport

(d. 1796) In his will he bequeaths Cato, Newport, Ann, Bess, Rose and Amy to his children; manumission of his "Negro Man Slave named Abraham"

Mss 9001-E Box 2 Folder: Easton, Nicholas (Newport) Documents 1770-1805

Easton, Nicholas 

Will

8 Jan 1770

Newport

Documents include his Will in which he bequeaths to nephew Nicholas Easton "my negro man servant named Sam and my negro woman servant named Peg"; to my cousin Sarah "one of my two negro children Abigail & Valentine she to take her choice of them at my decease"

Mss 9001-E Box 2 Folder: Easton, Nicholas (Newport) Estate of Richard Hazard.

Easton, Nicholas 

Indenture

26 Apr 1764

Newport

Nicholas Easton & Susannah Hazard as executors of the estate of Richard Hazard sign Indenture of apprenticeship of "Negro Boy named Peter" to Thomas Hazard from the estate of Richard Hazard now belonging to his son Richard.

Mss 9001-E Box 2 Folder: Easton, Peter Will 28 Apr 1691

Easton, Peter

Will

28 Apr 1691

Newport

A copy of his last will, leaves Simon, Tom, Sam, Sue, and Kate to various family members. The will manumits Primus and gives him items of real property. "I give my man Primus, his time servitude, for the Love he has bour unto me, and also I give him his Bed he lies in, and Beding, and Twenty Shillings in Silver Money, and his wearing Clothes."

Mss 877

Edward & Angell Legal Files, 1975-1978

Legal Documents (copies)

1975-1978

Providence

This collection consists of evidence presented in a 1975 suit by the Narragansett Indians against the owners of their former tribal land in Charlestown, R.I. The land had been sold by the state of Rhode Island in 1890. The collection includes copies of evidence presented by both the plaintiff and the defendants in this suit, and collected by the Providence legal firm of Edwards and Angell, which represented the Narragansetts in the case.

Both legal teams made an effort to uncover every scrap of evidence relating to Narragansett land claims, dating back to the first European visit to Rhode Island by Verrazanno in 1524. The most important known documents relating to the Narragansetts are copied in this file, including early deeds, the tribal minute book from 1850 to 1860, the 1881 report listing accepted tribal members, and numerous petitions made to the Rhode Island General Assembly. See Finding Aid for detailed list/locations of individual documents. Also see Mss 369, Paul Campbell Research Notes.

MSS 473

Edward Tudor Gross Diaries 

Diary

1903

Rhode Island; Puerto Rico; Cuba

Edward Tudor Gross kept diaires from the age of 11 until his death at the age of 69. The following are excerpts from his diaries relating to people of color. “We drove to Warren. Saw some Indians on the way.”[6/20/1893]; “Went to a ‘reception' at Mr. Angel's. Got there at 8.30 and rang the bell 6 times before getting let in by a ‘jolly’ coon from ‘Thillinghasts.’ [Tillinghast's] . . . The coon had a good time also and was quite familiar.” [1/01/1896]; “Enjoyed seeing the darkies load and unload freight. They yell and sing.” [3/22/1899]; “Went to Providence Opera House to see John Drew in ‘The Second in Command.’ Sat in Nigger heaven.” [4/12/1902]; “In Porto Rica [Puerto Rico] – Niggers and hot weather everywhere. Walked around town followed by scores of children (black) who scrambled for pennies.” [1/19/1903]; “Saw some ‘queer sights’ in one of the negro huts. Took photos of some.” [1/20/1903]; “Office of membership committee of YMCA. We agreed that Negroes should not be kept out.” [10/22/1914]; In Havana “The Colored people paraded at night with weird African music. Hard to get to sleep.” [3/19/1939]

Mss 854

Edwin Martin Stone Papers

Letter and Diary

4 Aug 1848


On the back of the letter from J. Pierpont, Jr. to Edwin M Stone is a scrawled note that reads "Aug 4th [Saco?] negro child & white do. arm around each others neck &c. is prejudice against color natural or acquired &c." This same observation is recorded in the diary of Edwin Stone in the Aug 4 1848 entry: "Passing through Martin Street today, I saw two children - a negro & a white about four years old, walking very lovingly together each with an arm thrown over the other's neck. The scene suggested the inquiry, 'Is prejudice against color natural or acquired?'"

MSS 265 Box 1 Folder 1

Elijah Armstong Papers

Account

20 Oct 1791

Glocester

"Condition of Sail [sic] for Selling Samuel Joseph a Negro Boy who was convicted for Stealing two Horses from Asa Willmarth and ordered to be sold by Timothy Willmarth & Samuel Winsor Esqr. Who was the Justice that Sat on the Cort [sic] and ordered the Said Samuel Joseph to be Sold to pay the Cost & Damage which is taxed at £12:0:5 the condition of Sail [sic] is that the Person who will bid the aforsaid [sic] sum for the smallest term of time shall be the Purchaser who shall take lawful Possession." Proceedings of a Vandue [sic] Samuel Joseph sold to Timothy Willmarth

*Mss 629 sg 3 

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

n.d.

South Kingstown

Letter from Tobias Ross of Charlestown (Narragansett) (date?) about a land claim? "Do not fail of meeting soon, as the tribe is very anxtious (sic) for you to meet to do business for them....Joshua...wants to cheat me out of my property - and is not willing to settle honest. I must [show?] him to a settlement, and if he will not comply, to what is right shall have a warrant and put him under bond...if you do not meet it will be a great damage to the tribe, and more so to myself."

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 12: 1844, May-December

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

11 Jul 1844 & 31 Jul 1843

South Kingstown

Rhymed letter from Pequot Thomas Commuck about his hereditary rights to land, 7/11/1844; filed with accompanying 7/31/1843 letter from Gov. J.D. Doty of Wisconsin to Commuck explaining his legal rights.

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 2: 1835-1838

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

10 Sep 1836

South Kingstown

Letter from Tobias Ross asking Potter to attend to "business respecting the Narragansett Tribe" for which a committee was appointed by the General Assembly

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 6: 1839-1841

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

14 Jul 1839

South Kingstown

Letter to Wilkins Updike from Thomas Commuck (Calamet County, Wisconsin Territory), a full-blooded Narragansett, regarding his claim to property in Charlestown, RI; discusses his Constitutional rights as a citizen of the U.S. (and member of the Brothertown Indians in Wisconsin), July 14 1839 

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 7: 1842

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Petition

23 Jun 1842

South Kingstown

Petition of "Metaldy" (Metilda) Rodmond to the General Assembly to sell 45 acres of her Narragansett Reservation land

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 8: 1843, January-July

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

18 Mar 1843

Charlestown

From Elizabeth Primus to E.R. Potter asking for advice on recovering land that belonged to her grandfather.

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 8: 1843, January-July

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

18 Mar 1843

South Kingstown

Letter from Elizabeth Primus (Narragansett) of Charlestown asking his advice on a land claim (Coyes land), 3/18/1843

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 8: 1843, January-July

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

18 Jan 1843, 5 June 1843, c. 1842

South Kingstown

Letter from Moses Stanton (Narragansett) regarding petitions to sell land so he can move to Green Bay; mentions specific petitioners and Knowles Mills land. Dated 1/18/1843. Second letter regarding same, dated 6/5/1843; and two undated letters circa 1842 concerning the same which also mention petitioners.

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 9: 1843, August-December

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

8 Aug 1843

South Kingstown

Letter from John Brown Francis asks, "What is this 'great Indian pow wow.' I thought the tribe were Negroes."

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 11: 1863

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

19 Jul 1863

South Kingstown

Letter from William Beach Lawrence regarding "slave [soldier?]" case and points of law concerning runaway slaves, 7/19/1863.

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2: 1849-1850

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

6 Jul 1850

South Kingstown

Letter from Albert C. Greene regarding the imprisonment of a black man named Cheets(?) and the law regarding such

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2: 1849-1850

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

18 Dec 1850

South Kingstown

Letter from Thomas R. Hazard asks Potter to report to him on condition of Indians in Charlestown for use in Hazard's report on the poor

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2: 1849-1850

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

28 May 1850

South Kingstown

Letter from John Stanton concerning "a young Indian from Michigan" who makes claims to Narragansett Indian lands to which he is heir. With copy of "Act to regulate the Publick Affairs of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians in Charlestown, 1792".

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2: 1849-1850

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

7 Jun 1850

South Kingstown

Letter from Potter to John Stanton, Esq. Commissioner of the Indian Tribe discusses Indians leasing the land, leaving the land and their rights to reclaim land if they return. 

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 4: 1851-1852

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

25 Dec 1851

South Kingstown

Letter from B. B. Thurston mentions his discussion with Potter about the government of the Narragansett tribe

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 7: 1857-1857

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

c. 1858

South Kingstown

Undated letter circa 1858 from "a committee of the coloured citizens of the City of Providence" asking Potter's opinion, as a candidate for governor, on the right of black citizens to attend public schools. Filed at end of 1858 correspondence.

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 3, Folder 15: 1881-1882

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

23 Aug 1881

South Kingstown

Letter from Edward S. Cone about "mistakes in the names [of Narragansetts] published in the Journal of today"; lists specific names from list. 

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 1, Box 3, Folder 7: 1874

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Correspondence

23 Mar 1874

South Kingstown

Letter from Esther B. Carpenter, dated 3/23/1874: "I find that the “young sachem” whom I wish to identify is Charles Augustus Ninigret. He was only distinguished by the last name, in my paper...I have not been able to ascertain the particulars of his disagreement with “John Checkley”, whatever it was... although it was evidently brought before the Assembly some time in the year 1727."

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 3: Research Notes, The Early History of Narragansett

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Deeds and Testimonies

c. 1657-1720

South Kingstown

Originals and copies (some quite early) of deeds drawn between the English and Narragansett, Pequot tribes. Also testimonies about boundaries of Narragansett and Pequot lands. See Finding Aid for detailed list/locations of individual documents. 

Mss 629 sg 3 Series 7, Box 6, Folder 4: "Abolition Paper"

Elisha R. Potter, Jr. Papers

Papers

22 Jan 1836

South Kingstown

"Abolition paper": statement of opinions of "the people of South Kingstown" regarding methods adopted by the abolitionists and legislation regarding slaveholding states, written in the hand of Elisha Potter, Jr.

Mss 629 sg 2 Series 3, Box 1, Folder 24: ERP Sr. Miscellaneous Legal, 1795-1810

Elisha R. Potter, Sr. Papers

Legal Cases

1807-1810

South Kingstown

Folder contains miscellaneous cases including "Indian Cases"

Mss 629 sg 2 Series 8, Box 2, Folder 24: Asa Potter, Sr. (1766-1805) - Deeds, Agreements, 1802-1805

Elisha R. Potter, Sr. Papers

Bill of Sale

1803, 1806

South Kingstown

To Asa Potter, Sr., for "A Negro Girl named Nan Born Decemr 25th 1796 also a Negro boy name Isaac Born 26th June 1798" for 50 pounds,1803. 

Mss 629 sg 2 Series 8, Box 2, Folder 25: Asa Potter, Sr. (1766-1805) - Estate Papers, Will, circa 1805-1808

Elisha R. Potter, Sr. Papers

Bill of Sale

1803, 1806

South Kingstown

List of articles bought by Elisha Potter, Sr. of Asa's estate in 1806 - the children mentioned above are on the list (for $30). 

Mss 629 sg 1, Box 1, Folder 3: Deeds and bills of sale, 1740-1790

Elisha Reynolds Papers

Deed of Sale

1761

South Kingstown

Includs one for "negro woman named Binor" from David Greene, 1761.

Mss 1002

Elizabeth Buffum Chace Papers

Papers

1858-1890

Rhode Island

Papers of a famous abolitionist whose home served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. These papers, however, shed little light on these activities, and consist mostly of correspondence with her children. There are several passing mentions of anti-slavery meetings, and of a visit to abolitionist Wendell Phillips. 

Mss 1002 Folder 1: Elizabeth Buffum Chace letters to sons Samuel and Arnold, 1858-1859

Elizabeth Buffum Chace Papers

Correspondence

1859

Rhode Island

3/8/1859- To Arnold. 4 pages. Father very ill. "I went to a Spiritual meeting and heard a most excellent and beautiful discourse from a trance medium...Then I attended a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Committee at 4 o'clock."; 4/3/1859- To Sam. 2 pages. "We are having company and Anti-Slavery meetings today."; 4/7/1859- To Sam. 2 pages. "I am arranging Anti-Slavery meetings about the state and have to write several letters almost every day."

Mss 1002 Folder 2: Elizabeth Buffum Chace letters to sons Samuel and Arnold, 1860-1864

Elizabeth Buffum Chace Papers

Correspondence

1862

Rhode Island

1/24/1860- Dated Valley Falls. 4 pages. Son Eddie struck by a carriage and badly injured. "Last night, Wendell Phillips lectured at Lonsdale, & he came here, and we carried him up, and then he returned with us, and spent the night. We had a nice time. He told us about his visit to North Elba, when he went with the body of John Brown; relating many little incidents which were not published in the papers.; "8/19/1862- To Sammie. 3 pages. "Gen. Hunter has disbanded his Negro regiment. How strange that such blindness prevails. That white men must go by hundreds of thousands...but the colored man must be saved! ...the country will ere long be inhabited by women and children and negroes. Oh! how I long to hear the right word spoken, that of Universal Freedom which would so soon put an end to this War! When will it come?"

Mss 1002 Folder 3. Elizabeth Buffum Chace letters to son Arnold, 1866-1868, 1874

Elizabeth Buffum Chace Papers

Correspondence

1868

Rhode Island

1/26/1868- 4 pages. "Mass. Anti-Slavery Society at Mercantile Hall on Summer St. We had a good meeting. The speakers were Phillips and Frothingham and Higginson and the two Fosters and quite a number of others."; 5/21/1868- 4 pages. Visit to New York. "In the afternoon, we went to the [Anti-Slavery] office where he had been very anxious to show us him composing room, where the types are set entirely by girls, whom he pays as he would men."

Mss 601

Emily H. Paine Papers

Diary 

1 Jul 1908


Diary of Bessie Paine, a white resident of South Providence. Describes hearing gunshots while sitting in a drugstore, and discovering that "a colored man shot two women and killed himself."

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 4: Accounts (Miscellaneous) 1780-1784

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Accounts

1780-1784

Providence

Includes: Account with James Green "1 pair boys shoes dl'd Ceasar" [15 Jan 1784], "1 pair men shoes dl'd Ceasar" [20 Nov 1784]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 5: Accounts (Miscellaneous) 1785-1789

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Accounts

1785-1789

Providence

Includes: Rec'd Isaac Green "1 pair small shoes for negro" [21 May 1785]; Receipt from John Reynolds "a pair of negro girls shoos" [25 Mar 1786]; Receipt "supplied for the funeral by James Green - 1 hat for Ceasar"; Rec'd by B. Reynolds "mend shoes for Ceaser" [7 Mar 1787]; Rec'd Joel Metcalf "1 pair shoes for Ceasar" [26 Mar 1787]; Rec'd Isaac Harrandon "leather shoes for negro gilr"; Rec'd by Noah Robinson "2 gallon molasses/Ceasar" [20 Apr 1787, 19 May 1787]; Rec'd Samuel Smith "shoes negro boy" [20 Nov 1787]; Rec'd Levi Burr "making coat & pare overalls for your black boy" [4 July 1789, 18 Dec 1789]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 6: Accounts (Miscellaneous) 1790-1794

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Accounts

1790-1794

Providence

Includes: To Levi Burr "clothing made for Ceasar" [8 Apr 1790, 16 June 1790, 28 June 1793]; To S. Nightingale 30 Nov 1782 10# sugar del'd your negro girl, 6 Feb 1783 7# brown sugar del'd your negro girl, 11 July 1783 7# rice del'd your negro boy, 17 July 1783 7# flour del'd your negro boy, 19 Oct 1784 7# rice del'd your negro boy - account settle 18 Dec 1793; Samuel Smith 1790-1793 "shoes for negro boy', "mending shoes for negro girl"; John Dorrance "stone pot del'd Cazar" [7 July 1790]; Nathaniel Cushing "felt had del'd negro" [17 Apr 1791]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 7: Accounts (Miscellaneous) 1795-1799

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Accounts

1795-1799

Providence

Includes: To Samuel Smith "mending shoes negro boy" [5 Sept 1794], "shoes negro boy" [24 Jan 1795], "shoes negro boy" [30 Jan 1796]; To Samuel Smith "shoes Caesar" [Nov 1797, 17 Sept 1797]; Account with Stephen Dexter "calico…del'd negro" [18 Dec 1797]; To Samuel Smith "shoes Caesar" [20 Jan 1798], "shoes Caesar" [20 Oct 1798], "shoes Caesar" [15 Jan 1799], "mending shoes Caesar" [19 Jan 1799]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 8: Accounts (Miscellaneous) 1800-1803

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Accounts

1800-1803

Providence

Includes: To Samuel Smith "shoes Caesar" [20 Mar 1799, 20 Nov 1799, 5 Apr 1800]; To D. Vinton "mace..dl'd Cezar" [30 Jan 1801]; To Samuel Smith "shoes Caesar" [25 Oct 1800, 7 Jan 1801], "mending shoes Ceasar" [12 Jan 1801]; To Samuel Smith "shoes for Ceasar" [13 June 1801, 10 Nov 1801, 3 Jan 1802], "mending shoes for Ceasar" [7 Jan 1802]; To Samuel Smith "shoes Ceasar" [20 Mar 1802, 12 July 1802, 15 Oct 1802]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 9: Accounts for the Estate of Rev. Enos Hitchcock & Copy of His Last Will & Testament, 1803-1804

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Will

1803

Providence

In his will, Hitchcock makes a bequest to Ceasar, whom he had manumitted at age 11. He leaves Ceasar dividends from his share in Providence Bank & Trust and a mourning suit of Ceasar's choosing.

Mss 78 Box 1, Folders 38-42

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Diaries

1776-1780

Providence

As a chaplain during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), Hitchcock often described news that he heard from others while stationed in camp. He often wrote about atrocities by Native Americans on the Revolutionarly armies and colonies.

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 39: Diary, 1777

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Diary 

1777

Providence

"About 7 o'clock the guard boats coming in...several cannon discharged at the French lines at a party of Indians and other" [6/30/1777], "Some further accounts of what happened at Fort Edward yesterday - the Lieut. who commanded the Piquet, Van Vechten was killed, scalped & cut his hands off & otherwise mangled" [7/27/1777], "11 oclock a small party yt went out back of Head qtrs about 3/4 of mile were fired upon by Indians one Corpl killed, private wounded - about the same time an Indian fired upon a Centry N.E. from Genl Nixon Brigade, wounded him in the Neck - a Small Scout 20 came in, which met with a party of Indians, supposed 70, fired & killed one & ran." [7/29/1777] "The Indians brot in eleven Prisoners, Hessians & Tories, two of our own men & two scalps." [9/26/1777], "We were alarmed about 7 o'clock by some firing towards Mr. Niels, Major Hull commanded an advance party there they were surprised by some Indians as they were comming off." [8/3/1777]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 41: Diary, 7 Apr - 10 Nov 1779

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Diary

1779

Providence

"An expedition agst the wesern Indians seems now to be certain, one division to go by way of the Mohawk River, under command of Brigr Genl Maxwell…" [5/15/1779], "Genl Parsons drank tea with me this evening & gave me the following account of the expedition against the Indians & on the back of Virginia. Col Clarke of that state penetrated the settlements back of it reducing the little villages to obedience & administering the oath of allegience to them....the Indians generally fled...Clarke, aware of that demanded an immediate surrender of he would storm and put all to the sword -- in the meantime sent off a detachment, who ambushed & routed them, killed some and took some Indians who he hung up immediately in the view of the fort" [6/17/1779], "This day we have account that a party of Continent troops & some maletia [sic] from the state of Virginia, surprized & dispersed a considerable body of Indians with some British troops & Tories who were forming an expedition against the back parts of that state--destroyed many of them--took & demolished their magazine of provisions & laid waste to twenty of their towns or villages" [7/5/1779]

Mss 78 Box 1, Folder 42: Diary, 1 Aug - 5 Nov 1780

Enos Hitchcock Papers

Diary

1780

Providence

"This morning the whole Army turned out to be reviewed by a number of Indians some Chiefs, a committee from several Tribes in Canada-- who were sent to Rhode Island to obtain the certainty of a French Fleet, which the Briton endeavored to keep a secret from them" [9/13/1780]

Mss 491 Box 1, Folder 1: Account Ledger, 1750-1755

Esek Hopkins Papers

Accounts

10 June 1753

Providence

Accounts with Prime Tillinghast (p. 147), possibly others (not identified as POC)

Mss 491 Box 1, Folder 3: Accounts for the Sloop Elizabeth 1759-1760

Esek Hopkins Papers

Accounts

1759-1760

Providence

Bill against the Sloop Elizabeth for "my negro work 2 days" & "Prince Miller".

Mss 491 Box 1, Folder 7: Correspondence of Esek Hopkins 10 Jan 1776-29 Aug 1776

Esek Hopkins Papers

List

1776

Providence

List naming Negro prisoners on board ship

Mss 491 Box 1, Folder 8: Correspondence of Esek Hopkins 2 May 1776 - 22 Aug 1776

Esek Hopkins Papers

List

8 Jun 1776

Providence

"A list of the Seamen and Landsmen that came out of the Capes of Deliware in the Fly" identifies Dragon and Surinam Wanton as being on board the Andrew Doria.

Mss 491 Box 2, Folder 2: Hopkins Papers Volume 1 (Letterbook) 1776-1777, pg 43

Esek Hopkins Papers

Correspondence

8 Nov 1776

Providence

Letter to William Ellery asking him to look after Dragon Wanton who was purchased by Hopkins aboard the Andrew Doria: "...take some charge of him, and either send him to me, or see that he is employ'd in the Service with Capt. Biddle, or in any other way as you may think fit."

Mss 408 Box 1, Folder: P5

Esten Papers

Custody Bond

16 Sept 1742

Providence

John Hopkins, Deputy Sheriff of Providence County delivered a "Negroe girl named Cloo of Estate of Mr. William Huston" to George Taylor's custody to be held until sold.

Mss 408 Box 1, Folder: P5

Esten Papers

Auction Notice

18 Jan 1742

Providence

Notice given that "one likely Negore girl, for prompt pay all being part of the Estate of Mr. William Huston" will be sold at the house of Mr. John Hopkins.

Mss 408 Box 1, Folder: P5

Esten Papers

Public Notice

30 Jan 1742

Providence

The "sale of Sundry Shop Goods a likely Negroe Girl….which sale was begun but not finished these are to give notice that the aforementioned sale in continued unto Wednesday the ninth day of February…"

Mss 197 Series 1, Box 3, Folder 9: Complaints, 1800-1809

Exeter Town Records

Complaint

26 Feb 1806

Exeter

Complaint that Quam Chalman, belonging to heirs of John Chapman, stole shoes from Thomas Phillips store.

Mss 197 Series 2, Box 8, Folder 6: Indentures

Exeter Town Records

Indenture

2 Oct 1797

Exeter

Indenture of Susannah Brown a "Black Girl and daughter of Roseannah Brown". This is the only indenture where a racial designation is made in this collection of about 29.

Mss 197 Series 3, Box 8, Folder 2: Overseer of the poor, 1780-1789/1790-1799

Exeter Town Records

Order

13 Jun 1797

Exeter

Order for the removal of Roseannah Brown, a black woman of South Kingstown.

Mss 197 Series 3, Box 8, Folder 7: Bastard File, 1774-1809

Exeter Town Records

Complaint

13 Jan 1800

Exeter

Complaint in which Janey Weight, single woman, accuses John Junion of North Kingstown, "Blackman", of being the father of her "female Bastard Child" born in Exeter in 1798.

Mss 197 Series 4, (Oversize) Loose Vol: Tax Rate List, 1767-1778

Exeter Town Records

Tax List

1767-1778

Exeter

List of Rateable Estate: Indicates names of slave owners, but not slaves' names.

Mss 9001-F Loose Vol.

Female Beneficent Society Papers

Record Book

1809-1881

Pawtucket

Records include black recipients of assistance. Also indicated is money given to the African Colonization Society (September 1, 1820 and possibly other dates).

Mss 417

First Baptist Church Records (Providence)

Membership

n.d.

Providence

Black members of the church are named throughout the membership records. Names include Mary Almy, Phillis Anderson, Violet Brown Johnson, Mary Ann Brown (wife of Pero), Mrs. Betsey Brown, Hannah Hopkins Colen, Phillis Church, Eliza Jackson Green, Anstis Greene and others. See Finding Aid for guidance to this collection.

Mss 417 REMOVED FROM COLLECTION TO CHURCH ARCHIVIST

First Baptist Church Records (Providence)

Baptismal Record

2 Nov 1815

Providence

In records book 2, Flora Thurston received in baptism (p. 170).

Mss 418 Box 1, Folder 2: Cash book/Ledger/Donation Book, 1803-1807

First Congregational Church of Newport

Ledger

1805-1807

Newport

Includes contributions for Newport Gardner

Mss 418 Box 2, Volume: Contribution Book, 1804-1807, 1820-24

First Congregational Church of Newport

Contribution Book

1810-1825

Newport

Includes receipts to sexton Newport Gardner

Mss 9001-F Box 4

Flagg, Henry

Seamen's Protection

1821

Newport

Flagg is described as having a "Copper complexion and black wooley hair."

Mss 9001-F Loose Vol: Daybook #5

Foster and Waterman

Day Book

1788-1789

Providence and Smithfield

Entries identify Cato Freeman (September 18, 1788), Quaco Butler, Duke Waterman and Prince (October 6, 1788), Cato Gardner (December 25, 1788), Seasar Jerebee (October 14, 1789) and possibly others.

Mss 198 Box 5, Folder 14: Minutes and Warrants, 1860-1869

Foster Town Records Collection

Warrant

Apr 1864

Foster

"Article VI. The assessors of each town or city shall assess a poll tax of one dollar annually, upon every male inhabitant of the age of twenty one years and upwards, excepting paupers, lunatics, persons non compotes mentis, persons under guardianship, convicts, members of the Naragansett tribe of Indians, and persons unable to contribute to the public charges, which said poll tax shall be payable at the same time and collected in the same manner as are the other taxes of said Town or city: and the proceeds of such poll tax shall be applied to the support of public schools."

Mss 862 Box 1, Folder 5: Arnold Green

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Biographical Sketch

1904

Providence

Biographical Sketch prepared by his sister Frances M. G. Wayland for T.F. Green. Mentions incident with Daniel G. Browning on pages 72 - 76, and it's aftermath.

Mss 862 Box 1 Folder 8: Cornelia E. Green

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Biographical Sketch

1898

Providence

Biographical sketch (1898) by Frances Wayland, includes reference (p. 150-) to1856 incident in which their manservant, Daniel went mad and assaulted Chloe the chambermaid. Daniel was the son of their cook. Chloe had a family in Fall River. The sketch also identifies William Forrest who was brought north as Tristam Burges' servant and worked for the Arnold family for thirty years.

Mss 862 Box 2: 14 John Street Bills Paid, 1827-1852

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Receipts

1849-1859

Providence

Receipts for wages paid by the family of Frances Rogers Arnold to Daniel G. Browing, Butler at 14 John Street from 1849-1852. Receipt numbers: 4911.01, 5011.01, 5102.01, 5106.01, 5109.01, 5112.01, 5204.01, 5206.01, 5209.01, 5212.01

Mss 862 Box 2: 14 John Street Bills Paid, 1827-1852 & Box 3: 14 John Street Bills Paid, 1853-1865

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Receipts

1849-1859

Providence

Receipts for wages paid by the family of Frances Rogers Arnold to Louisa R. Johnson a servant for the family during 1849-1859. Receipts for payments are date coded, ie 4904.28 + April 28, 1849. Folders are arranged by Months/Year. Receipts to Louisa R. Johnson: 4904.28, 4910.24, 5207.31, 5309.20, 5312.19, 5402.06, 5406.20, 5408.01, 5409.30 (This is a receipt to a Dr. Charles W. Parsons for visits to see Louisa), 5411.20, 5505.26, 5507.28, 5507.30, 5610.08, 5611.12, 5703.05, 5704.03, 5712.02, 5801.01, 5803.05, 5804.30, 5807.02, 5807.02, 5808.12, 5810.02, 5811.10, 5811.13, 5812.03, 5902.14 (Another payment to Dr. Parsons), 5904.29. For more information about Louisa R. Johnson see the entry for the Saint John's Guild (MSS 9001-S). 

Mss 862 Box 3: 14 John Street Bills Paid, 1853-1865

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Receipts

1849-1859

Providence

Receipts for wages paid by the family of Frances Rogers Arnold to Content Browning, Cook at 14 John Street from 1853-1856. Receipt numbers: 5311.09, 5401.30, 5403.13, 5405.01, 5405.27, 5406.20, 5407.31, 5410.06, 5410.23, 5501.01, 5502.19, 5503.12, 5504.23 (2), 5505.08, 5507.24, 5510.17, 5510.20, 5510.22, 5512.17, 5602.01, 5605.05, 5606.07, 5606.28 (on same slip as son Daniel G. Browing), 5609.27

Mss 862 Box 3: 14 John Street Bills Paid, 1853-1865

Frances Rogers Arnold Papers

Receipts

1849-1859

Providence

Receipts for wages paid by the family of Frances Rogers Arnold to Daniel G. Browing, Butler at 14 John Street from 1853-1856. He was the son of Content Browning. On June 28, 1856 he "became violently insane and attempted to kill the chambermaid, Chloe". An account of the incident can be found in the biographical sketch of Cordelia Green mentioned above as well as in the sketch of Arnold Green mentioned below. Receipt numbers: 5311.18, 5403.01, 5405.01, 5604.14, 5606.07, 5606.28

Mss 426 Box 1, Folder 3: Diary, Feb 14 - Dec 27, 1793

Francis Family Papers

Diary 

1793

Providence

Entries in pocket diary of John Francis (1763-1796) mention famous African-American ship captain: April 15, 1793- "Paul Cuffee of Westport master schooner Mary for 500 bushels salt is to deliver 83 2/3 codfish 20 Oct. next as security he has a note for 200 dr deposited" and again on October 20, 1793.

Microfilm CS71 B522 1675 Mss 294 Oversize Collection

Gabriel Bernon Papers

Correspondence

8 Dec 1714

Rhode Island

Letter to Gabriel Bernon from James Honeyman re: Bernon's gift of a black woman to his daughter Sarah; with notes in French by Bernon.

Mss 9001-G Box 1, Folder 1: Marriages by…& Memorandum

Gano, Stephen

Diary

1813-1814

Providence

Frequently ministers to people of color: "Baptised 9 o'clock Betsey Harmons, a woman of colour at Soldy Point." [1/03/1813] "Baptised at 11 o'clock Geo. C. Nathen a man of color." [2/06/1813] "Funeral of a black woman." [2/24/1813; 3/30/1813; 4/15/1813; 10/24/1813; 6/28/1814] "Funeral of a black man aged 83." [2/25/1813] "Funeral of black child 16 yrs consumption." [7/31/1813] "Funeral black woman dropsey." [8/03/1813]; "Church meeting. One person of colour related her hope." [2/03/1814] "Funeral black infant." [3/02/1814; 4/22/1814]; "Baptised a woman of color immediately after meeting who was very sick." [4/10/1814] "Funeral of a black man." [7/29/1814] "Married Randall Nightingale and Joan Faes (people of color)." [8/14/1814] "Funeral of an aged black woman." [9/18/1814] "Funeral of a black child." [12/25/1814] "Committee meeting evening a man of color related God's gracious dealings with him." [2/02/1813] 

Mss 629 sg 8 Box 1, Folder 8: Petitions & Depositions, 1785-1794

Gardiner Family Papers

Deposition

1788

South Kingstown

Depositions regarding slaves owned by the Gardiner family, by Nathan Gardiner, Sr.

Mss 629 sg 8 Box 2, Folder 11: Receipts, 1766-1802

Gardiner Family Papers

Bill of Sale 

1770

South Kingstown

Mary Gardiner to Nathan Gardiner, Jr., for negro man named Jeffry, aged "about twenty years"

Mss 629 sg 8 Box 2, Folder 14: Gardiner Family, 1786-1831

Gardiner Family Papers

Account

1797

South Kingstown

Cuff Henry Gardiner, account for work done to Ebenezer Adams

Mss 629 sg 8 Box 2, Folder 14: Gardiner Family, 1786-1831

Gardiner Family Papers

Receipt

13 July 1801

South Kingstown

Receipt on behalf of Mrs. Sarah Adams, widow of Ebenezer Adams for money received of Cuff Henry Gardiner, R.F. Noyes

Mss 9001-G Box 1

Gardner, Edward

Receipt

20 Sep 1754

South Kingstown

Edward Gardner sells "me negro garl named Doll" to Ezekiel Gardner for three hundred and thirty pounds.

Mss 9001-G Box 1

Gardner, Elisha R.

Indenture

30 Sep 1801

South Kingstown

Agreement to bind out Zealous, son of Hannah Gardner, as an apprentice.

Mss 9001-G Box 1 

Gardner, Ezekiel

Deed of Sale

23 Aug 1797

North Kingston

Sale to George Irish for "one negro man slave for Life named Mingo."

Mss 9001-G Box 2, Folder: Last Will & Testament 26 Mar 1743

Gardner, Nicholas

Will

26 Mar 1743

Exeter

In his last will and testament he leaves Cuff, Pegg, Fillis (and child) and Cezer to his children.

Mss 9001-G Box 2 

Gardner, Richard

Deed

Oct 1783

South Kingston

Deed for sale of an infant to Freelove Gardner "So called a black woman" for six pence.

Mss 434 Box 1, Folder 12: Letter from Ezra Stiles to Rev. Elihu Spencer

Gaspee Papers

Correspondence

16 Feb 1773

Providence

"The Negro-Indian witness was brought ashore and examined at the Courthouse by the Commissioners in private after which he was returned onboard. . . . This fellow's mother was an Indian at Little Compton, and being free, was by The Town Council put out as a poor child in youth to a man on Prudence till age 21 and supra, and wanted to be free and differed with his master - and upon the burning of the Gaspee ran off and went Abroad as an Informer, but really to get away from his Master..."

Mss 434 Box 1, Folder 4: Copy of the Official Documents Relating to the Destruction of the Gaspee

Gaspee Papers

Deposition

Jun 1772 - Jun 1773

Providence

June 10, 1772, identifies Aaron Biggs, an indentured servant of Capt. Samuel Tompkins of Prudence Island and includes some biographical information (p.11). 

Mss 434 Box 1, Folder 8: Transcription of Rev. Isaac Skillman's sermon, "An Oration upon the Beauties of Liberty, or the Essential Rights of Americans"

Gaspee Papers

Oration

3 Dec 1772

Providence

Part of an oration by Rev. Isaac Skillman, pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston and printed as the dedication of a Thanksgiving sermon, "It is true, my Lord, the Gaspee-Schooner is destroyed, and thereby the laws of England are violated, as you apprehend, either by Indians out of the woods, or by Rhode Islanders, I cannot say who; but it is query with one, my Lord, whether there be any law broke in burning the Gaspee Schooner. If it was done by the Indians (which is the current report) then there is no law broke: for the Scripture says, where there is no law, there is no transgression. And it is well known that the Indians were never under any law to the English."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 2: Correspondence, Mar 1862

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

28 Mar 1862

Washington, D.C.

Letter March 28, 1862 to Dave - " I went down to the Capitol a few days ago and attended a session of the Senate . . . and was entertained with a spicy debate of the District Emancipation Bill during which it was asserted that one of the Vice Presidents of the U.S. from the South had nortoriously lived with a negro wench and had children by her, and that another Southern Senator's negro children were at school in the State of Ohio. The Senator from Iowa proceeded to state that there were but three cases of white men marrying negroes in his own State and all three of these gentlemen came from Slave States and probably formed their peculiar interests there. I noticed that the Senators from Del. and Maryland spoke of slavery as a doomed institution while senators from Ky made no remarks in opposition."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 4: Correspondence, May 1862

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

1 May 1862

Virginia

Letter May 1, 1862 to Dave - "Niggers don't appear to find anything congenial in me, the first one I had died and the one I employed here is now sick with small pox. We have a large number of runaway slaves in camp who act as servants for officers, etc., most of them I find left their masters through fear of being forced to labor on the rebel fortifications."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 16: Correspondence, April 1863

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

7 Apr 1863

Virginia

Letter April 7, 1863 to Gerald - "There is a [illegible] of a fuss about niggers and if anyone advocates using niggers on our side he is a "nigger worshipper" fearful epithet, it once had power but after one has become acclimated to rebel shells he dosn't [sic] much fear copperhead bomb shells. I believe in using the nigger to subdue the rebels as I would use my sabre or horses or a jackass, if he will fight use him as a soldier, if he will work let him dig the trenches and drive the teams. I believe the Eman. Pro. to be a good war measure and that this summer will demonstrate same."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 23: Correspondence, Dec 1863

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

9 Dec 1863

New Haven, Conn.

Letter December 9, 1863 to Gerald - "Recruits are coming in regularly from the state of Conn. We have about 200 niggers and 300 white volunteer recruits now in camp."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 23: Correspondence, Dec 1863

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

23 Dec 1863

New Haven, Conn.

Letter December 23, 1863 to Gerald - "We have 500 niggers here now and I have sent over 300 recruits to Washington. . ."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 27: Correspondence, Mar 1864

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

9 Mar 1864 

New Haven, Conn.

Letter March 9, 1864 to Gerald - "We are trying a Capt. Of the colored regiment here which regiment is under marching orders. . ."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 33: Correspondence, Aug 1864

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

14 Aug 1864

Virginia

Letter August 14, 1864 to Gerald - "One of your assertions is totally false i.e. 'negroes will not fight' and I am at a loss as to how you could have been so entirely mistaken on a mere question of facts, the negroes have fought well, much better than we expected and better than the average of white troops with the same experience, this has been owing in a great degree to the fact that their officers are much better than those that came out with new white regiments the offices of negro troops come principally from veteran white regiments and the examination they are obliged to pass requires more than average education. The uniform testimony of all officers and soldiers who have seen the negroes in action and with whom I have had an opportunity of conversing is that the negroes fight better than they expected. You say wherever negroes have 'been tried in action it has resulted in failure;' how can you stultify yourself by such statements in face of the fact that Genl Baldy Smith (who did not believe in negro soldiers) complimented in General Orders the negro regiments of this command for their gallantry in the successful charge 

which resulted in the capture of the formidable works at Petersburg with many

cannon[s] and prisoners."

Mss 298 Box 1, Folder 33: Correspondence, Aug 1864

George N. Bliss Papers

Correspondence

24 Aug 1864

Maryland

Letter Augusts 24, 1864 to Gerald - "Now for the negroes. I personally have not seen them under fire but one of my men Private Spalding Toop B was Orderly for Genl Getty last July and saw a negrow regiment go into action near the Chicahoming he says they charged across an open field and took a rebel battery and that he saw one negor knowch a rebels brains out with a clubbed musket, this regiment was obliged to fall back without bringing off the guns because they were not properly supported (A common fault in our army) but is shows negroes will fight. . ."

Mss 602

George T. Paine Manuscripts on Native American Vocabulary

Manuscript

n.d.


Manuscripts written on Native American vocabulary

Mss 753 Box 1, Ledger #1, 1794-1800

George Thurston & Son Records

Accounts

1794-1800

Hopkinton

Weaving book accounts include Robbin Babcock (Negro), Sezar Babcock (Negro), Rose Boss (Negro), Lyman Kerdan (Indian), and Samson Samuel (Negro). 

Mss 753 Box 1, Ledger #5, 1810-1816

George Thurston & Son Records

Accounts

1810-1816

Hopkinton

Ledger includes Barberry "black girl" (p.1, 1815).

Mss 9001-G Box 4 Folder: 1 of 2

Gorham, Isaac

Log Book

1785-1790


Log book of the slave ship Enterprise sailing for Africa under Captain John DeWolf, 1787

Mss 9001-G Box 4 Folder: 2 of 2

Gorham, Isaac

Papers

1795, n.d.


Includes a receipt for water "Gambia River, Town Gillepus" [7/7/1795]; and an account for cargo including "2 boys slaves", undated.

Mss 9001-G Box 4, Folder: "Charming Polly" Articles List, 1767

Gorton, Benjamin

Agreement

1767

East Greenwich

Articles of Brigatine Charming Polly list Coff Fry as a seaman and include his wages.

Mss 9001-G Box 5

Gorton, Newport

Order

25 Jul 1734

Warwick

Newport Gorton, Hezekiah Gorton's "negro man" is ordered whipped for poisoning Ann Markham and Rebecca French.

*Mss 9001-G

Goulding, Mary

Will

21 Feb 1764

Newport

In her will, she disposes of "her Negro Girl named Sal" and manumits Phillis.

MSS 9001-G Box 6

Graves, Zephaniah

Diary

27 Jan 1807

Providence

Diary written by Zephaniah Graves, a sea captain who was imprisoned on bastardy charges from Oct 1806 - Mar 1808. His diary includes entries during his time at sea as well as during his imprisonment. He frequently mentions other prisoners, many of whom are men of color. 27 Nov 1806 "About 2 Last Night a Smoke was Discovered in the kichon [sic kitchen] which after some Search was found to come from the Class Prison when the Door was Thrown open a Considerable fire was Discovered under the Door of one of the Class Prisons which had been kindled by a Negro that was confined in the Room in hopes of making his Escape by burning up the Door."; 13 Dec 1805 "This morning I went ashore and started after our Deserted men two Negroes employed in staying in the cabin."; 9 Oct 1806 "At half past seven a Black fellow from Gloucester shipped for Debt by the name of Squilla."; 27 Dec 1806 "A black girl was taken out and received 20 Lashes and was Demanded back to prison subject to the order of the town council"; 25 Dec 1810 In Washington, D.C.: "There is a great parade here with the Blacks who are very numerous, + as a general custom they are alow'd about a week from Christmas as hollidays." 

*

Greene Legal Papers (broken up - all probably in Mss 144 or Mss 452)

Accounts

1825

Providence

Martin Miller settles his account with the estate of Stephen Arnold including payment for shoes for Jack Gardner, Priscilie Arnold and unidentified blackman.

*

Greene Legal Papers (broken up - all probably in Mss 144 or Mss 452)

Case Records

1834

Providence

Case of State vs. Hall et al. for riot in Providence.

Mss 9001-G Box 7

Greene, Elizabeth

Bill 

1781, n.d.

Warwick

Includes: Bill (1781) against the State of Rhode Island for the boarding and nursing of Nathaniel Wickes, a black soldier in Col. Christopher Greenes's Regiment; Bill of sale (November 20, 1781) for three year old Nat to Elizabeth's son, Thomas Greene; Inventory (n.d.) that lists "Negro Woman Harly and her Child."

Mss 9001-G Box 8, Folder: of Potowomot, 1731, 1745-1748, 1766, 1768

Greene, John

Papers

1731, 1745-1748

Potowomut

Indenture of Sarah, born in his house of his Indian servant, Marcy, as a servant or apprentice [2 May 1731]; Account listing payments for use of "Prince" [28 Mar 1745, 30 Mar 1747, 10 Oct 1747], "my negro killing hogs" [7 Oct 1746], "my John shearing sheep 2 days" [1747 & 1748] 

Mss 9001-G Box 8 

Greene, John Wickes

Journal

1836-1838

Providence

Mary L. Greene's journal entries are copied into the back portion of the journal. Includes: "Phillis Barton a coloured woman died." [2/15/1836] "Philis Barton the coloured woman buried today." [2/17/1836] "We have heard of two more deaths Rhodes Budlong and William Lippitt (a coloured man) in heaven there is no distinction." [2/19/1836]

Mss 9001-G Box 8

Greene, Katherine (Ray) 

Accounts

1776

Warwick

Accounts with Sarah Sambo, Betty Quaco, Mercy Ceasor, Vilot, Black Hannah, Barbary Cuff, Betty Newport and others. They are hetchelling flax, weaving and spinning 

Mss 9001-G Box 9

Greene, Mary Almira (Waterman)

Journal

9 Feb 1836

Providence

She records a brief history about Cuff Waterman (d. 1815), his wife Cola (d. 1828), daughter Eunice (d. 1871), son Julius, Hart Greene, Prince Waterman, James Budlong, and Binah.

Mss 9001-G Loose Vol. 

Greene, Perry & Taylor, Thomas

Ledger

1765-1775

Warwick

Entries include Job Sambo of North Kingston (p. 234, 269, 449, 492), Mercy Sambo (p. 249, 257, 258, 260, 314, 330, 344, 361, 405, 415, 440, 469, 490, 491, 559, 564, 566), Cesar Sweet of Potowamet (p. 322, 405, 467), and Primus Rhodes, sailor (p. 371, 418, 476).

Mss 9001-G Box 10

Greene, Thomas Lippitt (Capt.)

Accounts

1812, 1814-1815

Warwick

Includes: Payment for shoes for his "niggro" [12 Jun 1812]; Partnership with Anthony Holden, Greene records their settlement with wood cutters in a paper labeled "Wood Sold for Act. of A.H. & T.L.G." Labor payments include "Cuff Lippitts boy."

Mss 9001-G Box 12

Gross, Carl R., Dr.

Research Notes

n.d.


Research notes on African-Americans in Rhode Island, by an African-American physician and historian, including: an unpublished paper titled “A Brief History on the Life of Matilda Sissieretta (Joyner) Jones, the 'Black Patti', 1869-1933"; a list of Rhode Island stops on the Underground Railroad; short biographies of African-Americans in law and in the General Assembly; exhibition catalogues and other notes on artist Edward Mitchell Bannister; miscellaneous newspaper clippings; and Gross' 1971 obituary.

Mss 629 sg 10 Box 1, Folder 1: Correspondence, 1848-1855 and undated

Hagadorn-Wells Papers

Correspondence

n.d.

South Kingstown

Sarah (Wells) Clark to her father Thomas Robinson Wells describes a lecture (Massachusetts) by Mr. Allen, a lawyer of Boston, on the history of the African race: "It was very interesting indeed, equal to most any of the lectures we have had, and superior to some"

Mss 9001-H Box 1, Folder 1: William Hall, of John

Hall, William

Judgement

Aug 1767

North Kingston

Hall's request for a repeal of a judgement of Feb 1767 in favor of Nicholas Spencer against him in Inferior Court of Common Pleas concerning an unnamed negro girl.

Microfilm HQ 1438. R45 Pt 1 Reel 17 (Diary begins at Frame 0720) Mss 292, Diary: 1/1/1872-5/20/1872

Harriet F. Bennett Diaries

Diary 

24 Jan 1872

Pawtucket

Diary entry by white Pawtucket woman includes a long description of her reaction when an African-American man boarded her bus, and then a meditation on the evil of her prejudice. "Is it possible that I am so narrow, mean, and petty that I am not willing to ride in the same car as a Negro, and he a clearly well-dressed, well-mannered one?" [1/24/1872]

Mss 482 Box 1, Folder 4: Dairy of Sarah (Hawes) Harris, 9/11/1881-3/27/1884

Harris - Hawes Papers

Diary 

1882


"This morning Tom went out and brought a coloured girl, a cousin of Tom's to take Agness place wages 3 Dollars pr week" [4/12/1882]

Mss 482 Box 1, Folder 5: Diary of Sarah (Hawes) Harris, 1/1/1885-1/24/1887

Harris - Hawes Papers

Diary 

1886


"Today a black man came and we engaged him to cut the trees at $1.30/load." [2/9/1886]

Mss 17 Box 2, Folder: 1730 "Narrative of Slave Revolt on Ship off Africa"

Harris Family Papers

Testimony

1730


Testimony of George Scott of Newport, master of the slaving sloop Little George, which was just beginning the long voyage back from Rhode Island from Africa when a slave revolt broke out. This was one of the earliest known revolts on a Rhode Island slave ship, and one of the very few successful ones.Two sailors and the ship’s doctor, John Harris, were killed, as well as several of the slaves. The captain, first mate, cabin boy and two other crew members were barricaded in the cabin. Their attempt to construct a bomb was unsuccessful and “burnt the man that had the fuze in his hand almost to death” and destroyed most of their gunpowder, as well as their clothes. The slaves’ continuous efforts to storm the cabin failed, and they managed to pilot the ship back to shore with the crew still trapped in the cabin. . . .After the Africans had beached the half-burned vessel and liberated themselves on shore, the ship’s crew managed to row away on the lifeboat for five or six leagues before being picked up by another ship. At the time of their rescue, the crew of the Little George were “in a weak and miserable condition, having had nothing to subsist upon during the nine days we were under this affliction but raw rice.” This testimony is signed “per John Kilton”, who apparently wrote it out. A nearly identical version of this account was published in the Boston News Letter on May 6, 1731.

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1809

Washington County;

Kent County

Harris Smith used published almanacs to record deaths and events in Rhode Island. In this Almanac he recorded "Mob raised at Wickford round the house of Daniel Updike headed by Gen. Samuel Sambo." The 1800 census lists Samuel Sambo as a free black living in Wickford with 5 family members.

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1812

Washington County;

Kent County

"Darity Hall died the 4th day of the month in the woods where she went to git wood. A Black Woman Between 70 an 80 years of age."


MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1814

Washington County;

Kent County

This almanac included multiple references to the deaths of people of color: Eunice Brown, Dick Gardiner, and Betty Hall.

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1815

Washington County;

Kent County

On the page for October he recorded: "2 Black Children died at Bradocks Thomas in this month" Thomas may be the last name of the children based on its location on the page. On the page for November he recorded: "Cloe Thomas died 21st of this mo 1815 (black woman)" The death of Amy Samson was also noted.

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1816

Washington County;

Kent County

"Black child at Bradocks" 

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1829

Washington County;

Kent County

Black James Updike."

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1837

Washington County;

Kent County

"Cato Rooms, black man of Colony, was killed by James Browning." "Simon Davis a man of color dyed the 5th this month by pricking [?] him self"

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1838

Washington County;

Kent County

"Primis Browning a man of coller . . "

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1840

Washington County;

Kent County

"Mary Mcpherson Child Drowned November 17: 1840 Colloured Child"

MSS 722 Box 1, 1777-1850

Harris Smith Diaries

Almanacs / Diaries

1843

Washington County;

Kent County

"Harriot Maxwell a Collared girl died March 24"

Mss 9001-H Box 2

Harwood, Edward

Accounts

1813-1845

Providence

His book of accounts with the town of Providence identifies the poor (including some people of color) who are carried on the town rolls, people jailed or carried out of town.

Mss 9001-H Box 4

Hazard, Esther

Correspondence

3 Jan 1781

South Kingstown

Esther Hazard and Cesar Bolon received a letter from George and Benjamin Hazard reaffirming her emancipation in their mother's will. A John Carter had apparently threatened to re-enslave her. An excellent letter full of moral righteousness. Full transcription available. 

Mss 9001-H Box 4, Folder 2: Hazard, George (Unidentified) Manumission of Three Slaves, 1785

Hazard, George

Manumission

25 Jan 1785

South Kingstown

Manumission of three slaves: Pierro, Judith and her child, Jenny

Mss 9001-H Box 4

Hazard, Susannah 

Will

1767

South Kingstown

Last will and testament of Susannah Hazard manumits her slaves.

Mss 1031 sg 4 Box 8, Folder 124 NO LONGER IN OUR COLLECTION

Henry A.L. Brown Deposit

Correspondence

10 Sep 1854

Rhode Island

Letter from Harvey Dodge of Worcester, Mass. to John Brown Francis as officer of the Rhode Island Society for Encouragement of Domestic Industry. Reads in part, "Our Negro folks held their convention last week in Worcester & nominated Th. Coble Wilson for Gov. & changed their name from Free Soil to National Republicans. . . We are in great fear lest they will steal our negro before the election is over. Had it not been for that southern devil that came on last summer for bonus the free soilers could have starved to death before now. I hope the next one that comes will be shot before he finds his slave. . . No good master would even think of coming here to hunt up a poor negro."

Mss 1031 sg 4 Box 8, Folder 124 NO LONGER IN OUR COLLECTION

Henry A.L. Brown Deposit

Correspondence

7 Jan 1836

Rhode Island

Letter from W.S. Church of N.Y. to John B. Francis, re John Brown Tract in Adirondack mountains. In part: "The case of the black man on No. 3 I perfectly recollect as his is the only black family on the whole tract and I think it would be decidedly to your interest to get rid of him as soon as is possible without distressing his family." 

Mss 9001-H Box 5

Henshaw, Daniel 

Autobiography

1822-1908


Rev. Daniel Henshaw's (1822-1908) informal autobiography about his life includes many mentions of the servants that served his family when he was a boy. His early life was spent in Baltimore and all of the reference to black servants referred to that locality. He also mentions other black people in the community that were beggars.

Microfilm HQ 1438. R45 Pt 2 Reel 20 (Diary begins at Frame 0289) Mss 487 sg 3, Box 2, Folder: 1821 Diary

Herreshoff-Lewis Family Papers

Diary 

20 Feb 1821

Bristol

Agnes F. Herreshoff of Bristol, Diary entry: "Dibby came back. She has been to an Indian doctors to get a root for her Child." Full transcripton of the 1821 diary is available in: RI History Vol. 57, Number 3 & 4 Aug/Nov 1999 (F 76 R472 V. 57-58 1999-2000)

Mss 9001-H Box 5

Hicks, Eliza

Order

15 Jul 1811

Providence

Overseers order to the town sargeant to remove Hicks to Newport.

Mss 9001-H Box 6, Folder: Diaries 1874-1876

Hill, David W.

Diary 

10 Nov 1874

Newport

Diary of white Newport brassworker mentions minstrel show: “Charley Shaw's Negro show”, 11/10/1874.

Mss 9001-H Box 6, Folder 2

Holden, Randall Jr.

Bill of Sale

27 Feb 1727/8

Warwick

Holden purchased Saul from James Clark of Newport.

Mss 9001-H Loose Vol.

Houses in Providence 1779

List

1779

Providence

Entries include houses owned by black men: #83 Pharo owned a house, #303 Mrs. Page's Bonner, #323 William Cesar, #410 "Brown Moses a small Negro house down the wharf...," possibly others are included.

Mss 9001-H Box 8, Folder: Portrait of Thomas Howland

Howland, Thomas

Essay

n.d.


"Portrait of Thomas Howland by Blanchard read to the Rhode Island Historical Society by John A. Howland" An essay on the circumstances surrounding the election of Thomas Howland, a Negro, to the office of warden for the 3rd Ward in Providence in 1857. "Probably the first negro ever in elective office by popular vote in the United States was Thomas Howland."

Mss 9001-H Box 8, Folder: 15 Letters Received & 7 other Family Documents

Howland, Thomas

Correspondence

7 Mar 1840


1840 Mar 7 Richard G. Howland in Charleston to his brother Daniel Howland in New York regarding farming, probably in Rhode Island. "I think you had better let Henry get one or two coloured men if he can & then he will be better satisfied & can manage them better."

Mss 9001-H Box 8, Folder: 15 Letters Received & 7 other Family Documents

Howland, Thomas

Poem

Mar 1807


"On Liberty" by S.A. Greene March 1807 an excerpt from the poem reads:

And now to those who fought in freedom's cause

Why are you govern'd thus, by partial laws.

One part you've done, the other yet you lack

You've freed the whiteman, but enslave the black.

Mss 9001-H Box 8

Hoxie, Mary

Will

1796

Richmond

In her will, Hoxie left goods to Patience Rodman.

Mss 9001-H Box 8

Hull, Teddeman

Record Book

10 Mar 1741/2, Dec 1742-Jan 1743

Jamestown

Order to constable to bring in Scipio, negro man belonging to Abel Franklin who severely beat Avis, wife of Indian Josiah (10 Mar 1741/2) & Court examinations relating to a theft of money from Christopher Hawkins by his servant Dinah. She gave some of the money to Joseph Battey's Bess Battey and Phebe Arnold's Jenny Hull. These three are sentenced to the whipping post and fined. Also involved are Oliver Hull, Robin Hull, Dinah Pace and Hagar. (Dec 1742-Jan 1743)

Mss 9001-I Box 1

Indian Genealogy Notes

Notes

1927

Middleboro, MA

Genealogical notes written by Mantasikaun, a Mashpee Historian

Mss 9001-I Box 1

Indian Manuscripts

Warrant

1713, n.d.


(2) Warrants written in the Massachusetts language issued by Isaak Simmon, an Indian ruler

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 1: Correspondence Box 1-3

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Correspondence

c.1810-1844

South Kingstown

Isaac P. Hazard spent much of his youth in South Carolina and maintained business and social contacts in the South for his entire life. His business sold "Negro cloth" to a primarily Southern market. The collection includes very frequent correspondence from Southern plantation owners negotiating purchases. See entries for James J. McCarter, Peyton Skipwith, Stephen Duncan, R.W. Habersham, R.&W. King and William Ravenel. 

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 1: Correspondence Box 2, Folder 1: 1835, Jan-Feb

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Correspondence

15 Feb 1835

South Kingstown

Letter from his brother Rowland G. Hazard in New Orleans in which Rowland discusses his visits with plantation owners showing them samples of fabric, often called "Negro Cloth" that the Hazard's were selling specifically for use in making clothing for the slaves.This letter included 3 samples of the fabric that Rowland was showing to the plantation owners. "I ret'd last evening from my excursion to B. Rouge having been absent 12 days & visited abt 300 plantations - I have made engagements which will scatter our cloths among the planters very generally - They almost all want the double kersey and think it an excellent article." 

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 2: Financial, Subseries 1: Account Books, Box 4, Folder 1: Account Book, 11/1814-4/1817

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Account Book

1814-1817

South Kingstown

Payments to Afro-Americans. See entries for Cesar Potter and Brister

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 2: Financial, Subseries 1: Account Books, Box 4, Folder 7: Daily Spinner & Weaver Accounts, 1812-1815

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Account Book

1812-1815

South Kingstown

Payments to Ann Brown (Negress), "Mary Trim (Negress)" and Sharper Boss

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 2: Financial, Subseries 1: Account Books, Box 4, Folder 14: Ledger, 1815-1820

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Account Book

1815-1820

South Kingstown

Cesar Potter's Daughter Betty, "Hetty Stanton (negress)," "Judith Hazard (negress)," "Joseph Potter negro (Exeter)" (pages 30, 34, 38)

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 2: Financial, Subseries 2: Loose Accounts, Box 5, Folder 9: 1821

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Accounts

1821

South Kingstown

Pay slip to "Joseph Potter (Negro)," for carding 18 pounds, October 1821

Mss 483 sg 12 Series 3: Miscellaneous, Box 8, Folder 20: South Carolina and Nullification Crisis

Isaac P. Hazard Papers

Pamphlets

n.d.

South Carolina

Undated pamphlets from South Carolina re Nullification Crisis

Microfilm E445 R4 Part 2, Reel 1 Mss 19

Jacob Babbit Papers

Papers

1790-1810

Bristol

Babbitt, a Bristol native who invested heavily in the slave trade between about 1790 and 1810. His papers include correspondence and financial records. Finding aid available in the Manuscripts division. In the Commerical Bank check book (Volume 7) there are 2 entries for a man named Cuffee Collins: "No. 107, 1 mo. pay Brig M.P. v. no 2 in Co. 2d March [1818], 12-"Which translates as Cuffee Collins being paid $12 for one month advanced wages with Check Number 107 for work on board the Brig Mount Pleasant during its second voyage for Jacob Babbitt and Company. The next entry is Check 239 which paid Cuffee Collins his wages in full for work on board the Brig Mount Pleasant during her second voyage, dated 1 July 1818 for $32.76.

Mss 462 Box 1, Folder 2: Ledger, 1775-1778

Jacob Greene Papers

Accounts

1775-1798

Coventry

Accounts with Black Betty, Job Sambow (coffins for Sambow's mother, November 1776), Mercy Sambow, Cesar Sweet (boarding), Sambo (April 1776), and Samuel Ward of Westerly, "cash to your negro Phillis" (February 1776).

Mss 1140

James Card Family Papers

Papers

1756-1798

Newport

This collection is one of the more explicit collections relating to the slave trade in the RIHS Manuscripts Collection, and probably the most explicit that was not included in the microfilm set, Papers of the American Slave Trade. 

Mss 1140 Folder 1 (1756-1760)

James Card Family Papers

Papers

4 Mar 1758, 29 Jan 1760

Newport

Mar 4 1758- bill from Sarah Bull for ship labor of her "negor man."; Jan 29 1760 - receipt for payment to Howard Pool for making 2 pairs of shoes for Card's "negroes"

Mss 1140 Folder 2 (1761-1762)

James Card Family Papers

Papers

20 Feb 1761, undated

Newport

Feb 20 1761- receipt for payment from Jonathan Paine to whom Card delivered a "neagor boy" from Boston; [1762] - an undated receipt for paying for a "black man going with a letter to Senegal" and other expenses with 4 1/2 gallons of brandy, re schooner Adventure.

Mss 1140 Folder 3 (1763)

James Card Family Papers

Papers

16 Oct 1763

Newport

Receipt dated at Bay of Honduras for two slaves (a boy named Nicholaw and a girl named Present) from Oliver Ring Warner, a merchant, who buys and sells slaves through Card.

Mss 1140 Folder 4 (1764-1769)

James Card Family Papers

Papers

24 Apr 1764, 1 Oct 1768

Newport

Apr 24 1764- Letter from William Cahoon to Oliver Ring Warner re logwood plantation on Irish Creek in the Bay of Honduras, including attached certificate re slave named Newport, aged 25, who has been working on Cahoon's plantation since 1756; oct 1 1768- Receipt from Thomas Townsend for mohogany tables, a maple table, and a coffin for Card's "negro girl"

Mss 1140 Folder 5 (1770-1771)

James Card Family Papers

Papers/Correspondence

1770-1771

Newport

1770/02/23- power of attorney from Oliver Ring Warner to Card, with attached list of accounts including mentions of Negros Newport, Nicholaw, and Present

1770/02/23- letter from Warner, in part re orders to recapture Ring's slave "Newport" who appears to have escaped in Honduras.

1770/04/04- letter from Card to Warner re failure to capture Newport

1770/05/01- letter from Card to Warner re failure to capture Newport

1770/07/29- letter from Card to Warner re failure to settle debts

1770/12/18- letter from John Stiles re mahogany logs; "please to let my Negroes take them."

1771/04/02- receipt from Owen Nash of "No. Bay" for six slaves:

"Primrose, a seasoned man; Jack, a seasoned boy; Betty, a seasoned girl; Phillis, a seasoned woman girl; March, a new negro man; Jenny, a new negro woman girl"

1771/09/18- order from John Lawrie to "deliver my Negro Hercules to Capt. James McCauley."

Mss 1140 Oversize Folder

James Card Family Papers

Agreement/Correspondence

23 Mar 1762, 14 Aug 1771

Newport

Mar 23 1762- Agreement with Barnaby Burnet of Goree to trade all goods aboard the schooner Adventure in exchange for Burnet "to put on board the said schooner by the middle of July next, merchantable slaves to the amount of cargo delivered; Aug 14 1771- Letter from Lawrie, Hewlett & Co. re slave tried for theft, who is to be delivered to Bay of Honduras (attached to 1771/04/29 account)

Mss 166 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 2: Advertisements and Notices

James H. Remington Papers

Advertisements/Notices

1866-1867, n.d.

Virginia

Constitution and By-Laws of the New York and Independent Joint Stock Co. of Colored Citizens of New York [c.1866?] - broadside.

Mss 166 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 15: Law Practice - Case of Taylor Farm

James H. Remington Papers

Legal Case

1866-1869

Virginia

Taylor Farm Case is about the attempt by W.E. Taylor, who fought on the side of the Confederacy, to reclaim land in Virginia he abandoned during the war and was subsequently settled by a large group of African-Americans (Freedmen). The black community refused to leave.

Mss 166 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 10: School Papers - Early English Compositions

James H. Remington Papers

School Papers

1855

Virginia

School composition James Remington wrote while a student at East Greenwich Academy entitled "The North American Indian", 1855.

Mss 166 Series 2, Box 3, Folder 7: 1866

James H. Remington Papers

Correspondence

20 Jun 1866

Virginia

Letter written to James H. Remington from Marie Louise Padelford of Providence, RI.: "Yesterday, I had a letter from Emily [Padelford Remington] saying that they all went 'down home' last Saturday. The Baby did his best - did not cry, whimper or fuss all day long - as incredible as it may seem. It is really a very good - if not wonderful baby. As yet they have given him no name - except little kitten. I believe his grand-parents and black Adeline were quite delighted with him - but you must come on and see the Nephew." [emphasis added]

Mss 166 Series 6

James H. Remington Papers

Collection

1866-1868

Virginia

Series 6: Bureau of Refugees, Freedpeople and Abandonded Lands. This collection contains a significant amount of information on the reconstruction efforts in Virginia directly after the end of the Civil War. Brevet Major James H. Remington was assigned to work for the Bureau of Refugees, Freedpeople and Abandonded Lands in various places in Virginia during 1866-1868. Among its services the Bureau provided clothing and blankets to "Destitute Freedpeople." The records include Clothing Receipt Rolls which list each former slave and the items of clothing they received. At the top of each roll is a listing of the counties the people came from. The rolls are in the Bureau Stores or Quartermaster's Stores monthly reports - Abstract L for items expended with vouchers or sub vouchers listing the people and the items they received. In addition, James Remington prepared Inspection Reports for April 1867 - September 1868 on the conditions in his district which included the counties of Norfolk, Princess Anne, Isle of Wight, Nansemond and Southampton. The reports detail the general conditions of the freedpeople, court systems treatment of black citizens, employment conditions, schools and level of temperance in the black community.

Mss 166 Series 6, Box 5, Folder 31: Bounty due to colored soldiers

James H. Remington Papers

Charge

1867

Virginia

Remington charged with finding and remitting bounty money due to colored soldiers.

Mss 166 Series 6, Box 6, Folder 15: Case of Charles W. Buttz regarding stealing bounty from colored soldiers

James H. Remington Papers

Legal Case

1867-1868

Virginia

Case of Charles W. Buttz regarding stealing bounty from colored soldiers. 

Mss 166 Series 6, Box 6, Folder 16: Case of Trimm, Kemp, Williams, Harrison & Young vs. Commonwealth of Virginia

James H. Remington Papers

Legal Case

1867-1868

Virginia

Remington writes an opinion on this case of 5 black men who were accused of murdering a white man and were sentenced to death by hanging. JHR's opinion was that the evidence was circumstantial at best and that the witnesses for the prosecution were under threat and in fear for their lives if they did not testify to the guilt of the men accused.

Mss 166 Series 6, Box 7, Folder 11: Lincoln National Temperance Association

James H. Remington Papers

Flyer

10 Jun 1867

Virginia

Flyer describing group.

Mss 166 Series 6, Box 7, Folder 23: Torchlight procession planned by "freedpeople"

James H. Remington Papers

Announcement

Oct 1867

Virginia

Announcement of planned event

Mss 83

James N. Arnold Papers

Manuscript

1879-1896

Providence

A copy of a manuscript by Arnold titled, "The Honor of a State; or the Faithless Guardian, a Story of Monstrous Wrong," a narrative account of efforts of developers to swindle land from the Narragansett nation from 1879-1896. 

Mss 269 Box 1 Folder 1

James Utter Arnold Collection

Accounts

1799-1836

Providence

Ledger accounts with John Williams, James Low, Tour Humphrey, Prime Rhodes (accounts credited for his wife's washing), and Cato Mumford.

Mss 9001-J Box 1

James, Aaron

Testimony

22 Oct 1810

Providence

James, a man of color and a Mariner of Providence recounted an argument between Cudgo Earle and Sippio Read over a possibly stolen umbrella. Signed with James' mark.

Mss 201 Folder: Accounts, 1758

Jamestown Town Records Collection

Accounts

16 May 1758

Jamestown

Account with Matthew Grinold includes charges for "keeping niger Hanah Eight Weeks" and for "finding one Sheet to bury her & Drink."

Mss 201 Folder: Town Council, Examination of Mary (Hazard?), 1763

Jamestown Town Records Collection

Examination

25 May 1763

Jamestown

Town Council examination of a mustee woman named Mary from SouthKingstown accused of keeping a disorderly house. 

Mss 9001-J Box 1, Folder 2: Photocopy

Jencks, George Foster

Diary 

1824

Pawtucket

Diary of white Pawtucket man mentions Hardscrabble riots: “1824 Feb 7 A gang of Ruffins toar down & Destroyed the Negro house on the hill this evening.” and “1824 Oct 19 Last night the Whites assembled on the bridge in Providence and went in a body to that part of the town occupied by the blacks and pulled down Ten of their houses and laid waste all there contents and this day the Governor and Council has ordered out the Light Infantry to guard the town.”

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 3, Folders 2-4

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Papers

1781-1783

Providence

Papers of the colonel of the “Black Regiment” in the Revolution. Includes troop returns, 1781-1783.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Deposition and Receipt

9 Sep 1781

Providence

For runaway slave who enlisted in army and was recovered by Luke Griffith of Maryland.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 1, Folder 11

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Correspondence

18 May 1791

Providence

Jereh. Olney to Arther Fenner, Providence: Re: the cases of Jack Burrough a free man who is held enslaved in New Orleans and Jack Champlin, a pensioner of the United States said to be unlawfully held at Hispaniola. Olney requests Fenner's help in getting the men released.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 2, Folder 11

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Papers

1786-1790

Providence

Joseph Cooke Mercantile Papers: Accounts of the snow America, a slave ship on the African coast. Includes detailed accounts of slaves and rum sold. See finding aid for this collection which includes other accounts and references to the slave trade.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 1, Folder 11

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Correspondence

2 Apr 1794

Providence

Letter to Oliver Wolcott re: pension claims of Revolutionary War soldiers; Job Burton, Jabez Remington, Abraham Dennis, Walley Allen, Cato Bannister, James Northrup and Peter Harris.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 1, Folder 12: Miscellaneous ship accounts

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Accounts

1788-1790

Providence

Expenses of Cooke in Trinidad, 1788-1790. Describes boarding and sale of three slaves.

Microfilm CS71 .O51 (3 reels with guide to papers on reel 1) Mss 18 Box 3, Folder 15: Mary T. Olney

Jeremiah Olney Papers

Manumission

13 Jul 1820

Providence

Manumission of slave Lewis by Mary T. Olney.

*Mss 9001-J Loose Vol.

John (Brigantine)

Crew List

1806

Newport

A crew list (p.13, No.8) names Cato Burrill, a black man of Newport and Samuel Crauford, with a yellow complexion, of Providence. Both men are listed as seamen.

Mss 261 Series 1 Zephaniah Andrews Papers Box 1 Folder 2: Account Book 1761-1776

John Andrews Papers 

Accounts

1776

Providence

Accounts for hospital boarding of patients including Binah Cook, Primas Brown, Patience Brown, Patience Foster, Jackson - Negro girl, and Nimbel Nightingale.

Mss 261 Series 2 Eddy & Andrews Papers Box 2, Folder 5: Day Book 1807-1810

John Andrews Papers 

Day Book

1 Sep 1809

Providence

Page 233 Sept. 1, 1809 "Black Body to 1/2 peck lime 12 1/2 [cents] "

Mss 919

John Banister Account Books

Accounts

1747-1750

Newport

Both volumes include some documentation of Banister's dealings in slaves. No explicit reference was found to an entire shipload of slaves being imported from Africa, although ships named the Affrican and the Angola suggest that Banister was interested in the cross-Atlantic slave trade. However, Banister sometimes purchased one or two slaves at a time in the West Indies and sold them in New England. The daybook documents the purchase and Connecticut sale of a "Negro boy named Fortune" in 1747, the purchase of "a Negro man named Cesar" from a ship captain in 1747, and the purchase of two unnamed slaves in 1749/50.

Banister also detailed the clothing expenses of Banister's slaves, and the profits he gained from loaning out their labor. "Negro Anthony" or "Tony" appears nine times in the daybook from 1747-1750, mostly for work done in preparing ships for journeys. "Negro Mingo" and "Cato" are also mentioned. Detailed abstracts of all of these entries can be found in the guide to the Banister Papers.

Mss 499 Folder 3: Correspondence

John Howland Papers

Correspondence

24 Nov 1838


To Mary (his wife or daughter), discourse on Indians of North America and their possible origins; description of Indian grave found under Bowen street in Providence and disposition of artifacts found there.

Mss 1133 Box 1, Diaries - Vol. 1 (1843-1847), Vol. 2 (1847-1852)

John P.K. Henshaw Papers

Diary 

1843-1852

Rhode Island

Diary by first Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island which is an important resource for information on the history of Christ Church in Providence, the first African-American Episcopal congregation in Rhode Island and the first parish to send colored laymen as delegates to a Diocesan Convention in this country. Much of his commentary on the congregation revolves around Rev. Eli W. Stokes who served as the minister of Christ Church from 1846-1849. See Guide to Men's Diaries Fnding Aid for a complete listing of all his entries which include information on African-Americans. 

Mss 1133 Box 1, Folder 1

John P.K. Henshaw Papers

Correspondence

13 Jul 1852

Rhode Island

Letter from David Caldwell, Georgetown, DC, 7/13/1852 which is a list of white and black person confirmed in Christ Church Georgetown.

Mss 1099 Box 1, Folder 9: J. Rowland Barker to parents June 1944-December 1944

John Rowland Barker Papers

Correspondence

13 Aug 1944

South Pacific during World War II

A letter from J. Rowland Barker to his parents, Aug. 13, 1944 "A few nights ago we had a stage show here put on by a Negro Engineers outfit which was pretty good."

Mss 1099 Box 1, Folder 14: Correspondence from Barker family relatives in England, Australia and Bahamas 1942-1945

John Rowland Barker Papers

Correspondence

2 Aug 1944

South Pacific during World War II

A letter from George Barker in Derby, England to J. Rowland Barker, "They are opening two U.S. clubs in the town now: one for white troops and one for coloured troops. I see that a coloured choir will be soon singing at the Salvation Army H.Q."

Mss 9001-J Box 3

Johnston, Augustus

Deed

9 Jun 1759

Newport

In a deed from James and Mary Hillhouse of New Haven, Conn., "Domine a Negro Man" is identified as living in "a Small Mansion House on said Schoolhouse Lot" in Newport.

Mss 64 Folder 10: Account Book, 1784-1865

Joseph Bucklin Family Papers

Account Book

1847-1865

Rehoboth, MA

Samuel Slater Bucklin Accout Book: Sep 4, 1860 "By amt paid colored man for watering streets 7 weeks $1.75"; Oct 2, 1860 "By amt paid colored man for watering streets in full $1.00"

Mss 982 Folder 1

Joseph Crawford Papers

Crew List

28 Nov 1764

Providence

Sloop Squirrel bound for Antiqua: notes John Loyn, Joseph Mays & Edward Edwards as having "Dark" complexions.

Mss 982 Folder 1

Joseph Crawford Papers

Accounts

1761

Providence

Settles accounts with Samuel Wall (not identified as a person of color)

Mss 982 Folder 1

Joseph Crawford Papers

Payment

1779

Providence

Paid Prince Keen for shoeing horses (not identified as a person of color)

Mss 982 Folder 1 

Joseph Crawford Papers

Crew List

n.d.

Providence

List of crew members and their shares, includes the name of Lepard Angel "negro boy" with 3/4 of a share.

Mss 472 Folder 1: Miscellaneous Correspondence

Joseph H. Griffin Papers

Correspondence

12 Jul 1835


Letter received from Evan Hazard in Huntsville, AL dated July 12, 1835 describing conditions in Alabama.: "...the principal men are wealthy verry wealthy there are a great many men in the county that own a hundred working negros (besides children) and a hundred thousand acres of land there was one man a planter died here not long since that owed over a hundred thousand dollars but it took but a small part o his estate to pay it he owned over a hundred thousand acres of land well stocked with negros his heirs wanted to keep possession of the land and they sold 129 negros a auction here in town they sold from $800 to $1500 a piece. . ."

*Mss 412

Joseph J. Fenner Papers

Receipt

Feb 1802

Providence

Receipted bill for goods sold to Jude Cook and Mingo

Mss 412 Series 3: Joseph J. Fenner Accounts, Loose Vol. 1: Journal of General Store & Stonecutting Business, 1806-1812

Joseph J. Fenner Papers

Payment

27 Jun 1807

Providence

Stone cutter paid Cato Greene for labor (p.14).

Mss 412 Series 3: Joseph J. Fenner Accounts, Box 3, Folder 16: Accounts 1824, 1825, mics

Joseph J. Fenner Papers

Writ

22 Feb 1825

Providence

Wanton Gardner, a laborer, is sought for attachment for his debt to Fenner.

Mss 412 Series 3: Joseph J. Fenner Accounts, Box 3, Folder 4: Accounts, 1800-1829, stonecutter

Joseph J. Fenner Papers

Bill

23 Dec 1825

Providence

Receipted bill to "Brister a coloured man" for a hearth stove.

Mss 483 sg 13 Series 2: Subject Files, Box 2, Folder 6: Reprints of Newspaper re Great Gale of 1815

Joseph P. Hazard Papers

Memorandum


South Kingstown

Memorandum that reads as follows: "Samuel Niles - a mulatto who was born without a hair upon his head, and now lives at Narragansett Pier and keeps a restaurant and is highly esteemed as an honest, useful and respectable citizen. He was a servant of my late father...until my father left Narragansett..." Niles was apparently given a copy of a newspaper on January 21, 1891.

Mss 629 sg 9 Folder 1: Joseph Perkins Accounts, 1771-1791, indated

Joseph Perkins Papers

Accounts

1771-1791

South Kingston

Receipt for payment by Dedfoot Brown of Newport

Mss 629 sg 9 Loose Vol. Daybook, c1775-1783

Joseph Perkins Papers

Accounts

1782

South Kingston

Includes entries for quash Niles and Charles Gardner of South Kingston

Mss 252 Folder: Addeman Civil War, 1863-1866

Joshua Addeman Papers

Correspondence

21 Jul 1865

Fort Butler - Donaldsonville, LA

Addeman was a captain in 14th Regiment, R.I. Heavy Artillery (Colored). His papers include an excellent letter dated 7/21/1865 regarding one of his soldiers, Private General Green, being used as a servant without authorization.

Mss 9001-J Box 3, Folder 1: Letter 2 Dec 1840

Joslyn, Joseph

Correspondence

2 Dec 1840

Newport

From Georgia resident, Hugh McCall appealing for help for a jailed Thomas Francis, son of Thomas and Violet, brother of William, John, Polley, Nancy and Betsey. The postmaster was hoping to ascertain whether Francis was a free Newport resident or a slave from North Carolina.

Mss 9001-K Box 1

Kent County Female Anti-slavery Society

Record Book

1835-1845

Warwick

Record of the formation, meeting and membership of the Society

Mss 9001-K Box 1

Kent County Men's Anti-slavery Society

Newspaper Article

6 Feb 1916

Kent County

Early Anti-Slavery Society Records Found, local activity in 1835

Mss 238

Klyberg Collection

Interviews

1990-1993

Rhode Island

Interviews done by U.R.I. students in Albert Klyberg's R.I. History Class, 1990-1993 Interview by Barbara McEiver of Cortland Stanton who moves from Providence to Narragansett in 1965. He and his wife are identified as American Indian. 

Mss 9001-K Box 3

Knight, Henry Cogswell

Newsclippin-gs/Narrative

Aug - Nov 1866

Warwick/Pawtucket

"A Glance at the Town of Providence in 1812," reprinted in the Providence Journal in 1866 from The Rhode Island American in 1812. Narratives in the clippings includes stories and descriptions of Bristol aka Brisker Rhodes, Scipio Brenton, Prince Whitman, George Thomas, Troupe Butler, and Robert the Hermit of Fox Point.

Mss 527 Vol. 2

Land Evidences Collection

Receipt

10 Jul & 23 Aug 1705

Newport

No. 321, 323: Gideon Crawford acknowledges receipt of a servant, Peggy, whom he promises to deliver to her owner widow Mary Davis in Barbados when demanded. This is a copy of the original document.

Mss 527 Vol. 3

Land Evidences Collection

Manumission

15 May 1717

Newport

No. 260: A copy of Edward Pelham's manumission of Harry.

Mss 527 Vol. 3

Land Evidences Collection

Order

27 May 1721

Newport

Pg. 360: A copy of an Admiralty Court order of auction of slaves.

Mss 9001-L Box 1, Folder 1: Lawton, Isaac of Portsmout, RI

Lawton, Isaac

Papers

1785; n.d.

Portsmouth

Revolutionary War anecdote concerning Quaker Meeting House in Portsmouth, R.I. told by Lawton in 1785 which includes mention of a negro boy; anecdote told by Zacharias Dicks regarding a negro man preaching to Quakers in North Carolina; undated list of debating points regarding slavery.

Mss 21 Box 5, Folders 89-92

League of Women Voters

Records

1893-1977


Subject file on civil rights and "Rhode Island protection of minority groups against discrimination," 1942-1967. 

Mss 769

Leander Utley Papers

Births

1819-1851

Providence

Physician's record notes births of Henry Speeder, Peggy Carr, Samuel Shoemake. There may be others throughout the book. These three are noted on the first page of the book under 1820.

Mss 9001-L Box 2

Lear, Susanna

Diary 

1788

Philadelphia

Diary of a white Philadelphia woman visiting Boston and Providence in 1788. Rode in a carriage from Boston with "an Indian Chief. At first I felt very much afraid of him, but he turned out to be the most agreeable of the company... After breakfast the Indian Chief played several tunes on his clarinet. He played very well. In short, he is quite accomplished." [31 July 1788]; "We were all invited to a party out of town. The Prince rode with us in Mr. Brown's carriage and entertained us very much... The Indian Chief and Mrs. J. Brown stayed and supped with us. He regrets very much he is obliged to leave us so soon. He says he never spent his time so happily. Indeed I don't wonder for the ladies of this place are all in love with him and are striving who shall pay him the most attention." [2 Aug 1788]; "In the evening the Chief called on us again as he has done regularly three of four times a day ever since he has been here. He stayed to supper... He appeared very unwilling to leave us even at eleven o'clock." [3 Aug 1788]

Mss 907

Lewis Metcalf Walling Papers

Records

1924-1995


Records of diplomat who served extensively in Cambodia, Guatemala and several African nations.

Mss 9001-L Box 3

Lewis, A.M.

Requests

17 Apr 1865

Providence

Request by "The Colored People of Cranston" to be allowed to attend the funeral services for President Lincoln to be held in Providence.

Mss 9001-L Box 3

Lewis, Prme

Complaint

Jun 1781

Johnston

Lewis, "a free negro man," is accused by James Mathewson of stealing trees from his land.

Mss 9001-L Box 3

Lippitt, Ceasar

Papers

1815-1824

Warwick

A deed, receipts, and direct tax bill belonging to Ceasar, a laborer and man of color.

Mss 9001-L (oversized)

Lippitt, William

Papers

1841 and 1844

Warwick

A deed of land in Warwick being transfered from William Lippitt to his wife, Patience Lippitt and the last will and testament of William, a man of color.

Mss 9001-L Box 4, Folder 1: Law Suit, 2 Oct 1817

Low, James

Lawsuit

2 Oct 1817

Cranston

Suit in Justice Court against Low for debt owed to Roger W. Potter.

MSS 9001-M Box 1

Macomber, Joseph Ellwood

Correspondence

6 Feb 1842

Farmington, NY

Letter to Joseph Ellwood Macomber while away at school in Washington, NY from his sister Margaret Ann Hathaway in Farmington, NY. The entire family are Quakers. "Perhaps thou hast not heard of the Brig 'Creole' bound I think from some northern port to N. Orleans with slaves. During the passage 19 of the slaves rose in possession, . . . They were sailed to Nassau a port in N. Providence one of the Bahamas I believe and are still under English authority. Oh how it makes the Southerners and Northern pro-slavery men boil It is thot by some that our government will demand them but I do not believe it ifor they know British liberty allows no slavery and if foreigners fall on their coasts are freemen they would not think of making [?] about slaves escaping to Canada but where is the difference! Both belong to England. A pro-slavery man in Scipio asked Lorenzo a few days since if "as many niggers run through our place to Canada now a days?" L. said "no, they go off by ship loads now!" He could not say any more about niggers running away.

Mss 464 Loose Vol. Nathanael Greene & Co. Ledger, 1744-1774

Major General Nathaneal Greene Collection

Accounts

1744-1774

Potowomut

Ironworks, store ledger: account of Sam Bow (p. 18), Jack Negro of Coventry (p. 183) and Mary Sambo (p. 189)

Microfilm E445 R4 Part 1 Reel 11 Mss 549 Series 1 Godrey Branch, Vol. 1 Godfrey Malbone Sr. Account Book 1728-1738

Malbone Family Papers

Account Book

1728-1738

Newport

Includes financial records pertaining to the slave trade. Account book lists among the goods invoiced. For example, p.17 includes an invoice for Congo, Toney, Blinda, and Sarah. An invoice for Scipio, Anne, Cuffy, and Bess are listed on page 28. There are others throughout the book. 

Microfilm E445 R4 Part 1 Reel 11 Mss 549 Series 1 Godrey Branch, Folder 4. Malbone family - accounts with the estate of William Hunter

Malbone Family Papers

Accounts

1763-1768

Newport

Settlement of accounts with physician for treatment of household including: 1763-1768 Mingo, Peter, and Frank ; 1764-1774 Quam, Magget, Sias and Jack; 1771-1779 Lue; 1768-1776 Comfort, Jack, Peter, and a child.

Mss 9001-M Oversize

Manchester, Gideon

Inventory

1769

Providence

Inventory includes "one negro man named Curllett."

Mss 552 Box 2: Correspondence & Documents, 1769-1771

Marchant Papers

Correspondence

19 Apr 1770

Newport

Marchant from Newport, to Richard Ellis, Newburn (Berne?) North Carolina. “Sir, Capt. Richardson has received a Letter from you by which I perceive my Boy has been under the doctors Care sometime, being lame in his Foot, and that he pretend[s] he has been subject to a Lameness. You may depend upon it there is no manner of truth in that suggestion of his; Tho’ I would choose he should Sell well, yet for the Price of him I would not have kept back any Thing from your Knowledge that might make to his Disadvantage; I imagine he has found out you are about Selling him and that he had rather remain with you than run the Chance of a disagreeable master & he has put his Wits together to prevent your disposing of him. I can rely upon your Honor as to the Price; but otherwise should be glad he might be sold as soon as may be to advantage As I have been obligated to purchase another and the money is somewhat wanted"

Mss 552 Box 2: Correspondence & Documents, 1769-1771

Marchant Papers

Correspondence

5 Mar 1771

Newport

Marchant Letter to Ellis: "Sir, I was induced to send my Boy Quam to you under an Apprehension of Dispatch. The price he sold for was not near so much as he cost at thirteen years old and the cash paid down: but that Circumstance is not so bad a Consideration, as that of being kept out of the Purchase Money so Long: your letter to me assured me I should receive the Effects, last November since which I have not heard a Word of the Matter: Indeed there seems to be a general Uneasiness in those who have sent their Negroes to No. Carolina. I hope however that the Receipt of the Effects for my Boy will Soon give Satisfaction to your Friend and Servant H. Marchant. Mr. Richard Ellis Merchant in Newburn North Carolina."

Mss 966

Mark Toney Papers

Records

1977-1986

Providence

Records of African-American social activist, Providence.

Mss 999 Folder 6: Julia (Bowen) Martin

Martin Family Papers

Diary 

1 Apr - 15 Sept 1799

Providence

Diary of a white Providence woman written before her marriage, who mentioned the following visit to an African-American fortune-teller: "We all went to a famous fortune teller just arrived in town, a black man, we walked down beyond the new Presbyterian Meeting House, I found him quite on the hill, in a negro house. I was ushered up Chamber first. I was prodigously frightened at first, but my fears soon subsided. I saw a monstrous fat black man. His face from his nose up, full of notches..." This is followed by a long account of the fortune. [7/20/1799]

Mss 9001-M Loose Vol.

Mason, Aaron

Day Book

1780-1812

Providence

Mason, a tanner, records accounts in his daybook including accounts with William Ceser (1778-1807), Black Bette (March 1780), Solomon Jinne (October 1790), Rebeckah Negro (1790, 1794), Oliver Cesar (July 1791), Abraham Gibes(July 1793), Prence Lac(?) of North Providence (1802, 1804), Paul Potter (1806).

Mss 554 Vol. 2, p. 218

Mason's Newport

Correspondence

13 Jun 1740

Newport

Letter from George Scott, at sea, tells of sickness and mortality among enslaved Africans aboard ship and reports that his own slave, Bonner is dead.

Mss 554 Vol. 1, p. 70

Mason's Newport

Receipt

1762

Newport

Receipt for two unnamed "Negro Boys... receiv'd from Africa" in Boston by Capt. Phillip Wilkinson, June 8 1762.

Mss 554 Vol. 5, p. 296

Mason's Newport

Deed

21 Sep 1731

Newport

Deed from Charles Ninegret, "New England Chief Sachem of the Narragansetts" to Capt. Christopher Champlin, Jr.

Mss 554 Vol. 2, p. 101-102

Mason's Newport 

Narrative

1752

Newport

Cuffy Cockroach identified as a cook in the household of Jahleel Brenton."Cuffy was a noted turtle cook."

Mss 554 Vol. 5, p. 290

Mason's Newport 

Bill of Sale

10 Dec 1756

Newport

Sale by Benjamin Nichols to Joseph Wanton, Jr. of Toby, Cuff, and London.

Mss 554 Vol. 2, p. 102

Mason's Newport 

Bill of Sale

4 Jul 1759

Charlestown

Sale by Christopher Champlin of slaves George and Jenny to Thomas Allen of New London.

Mss 554 Vol. 3, p. 154-159

Mason's Newport 

Narrative

1791-1825

Newport

Biographical information about Newport Gardner, slave of Caleb Gardner.

Mss 554 Vol. 2, p. 105-106

Mason's Newport 

Narrative

n.d.

Newport

Cudjo, an elderly man, annuitized by Gibbs and Channing. Others named are Jim Samson, Pomp Overing, Quacko Malbone, Sam Collins, Ritter (Henrietta) Ellery, Phillis Champlin, Dinah Ayrault

Mss 554 Vol. 2, p. 104-107

Mason's Newport 

Narrative

n.d.

Newport

Tells about Mintus, the "last colored undertaker" buried in the old common cemetery.

Microfilm E445 .R4, part 2, reels 17-20 Mss 588 sg 4 Box 6, Folders 2-14

Megee, William F.

Correspondence

1798-1806


Correspondence of slave trader active in the South American market, dating mostly 1798-1806.

Mss 9001-M Box 5

Metcalf, Joel and Michael

Accounts

16 Sep 1799

Providence

Accounts with William Gittis and William Stever for sales of beef and pork.

Mss 9001-M Box 6

Molly (sloop)

Accounts

1746

Newport

Account of cash disbursements included payments to various owners of slaves for labor. Slaves are named include Quash(?), Rhoad Island, Jack, Newport, Coffy, and Fortune.

Microfilm E 445 R4 Mss 313 

Moses Brown Papers

Correspondence

1753-1836

Providence

In addition to being a prominent Rhode Island citizen and businessman, one of Moses Brown's most valuable contributions was as an outspoken opponent of slavery. Brown worked to educate and influence others to the immorality of slavery. 

This collection of Brown's papers contains thousands of letters. Slavery and blacks are addressed in many of the letters and some of the correspondence is with formers slaves. Series II, the subject files, contains four folders titled "Anti-slavery." Series IV (bound volumes) includes account books which contain references to people of color.

Excerpts of some items in the collection are highlighted. Finding aid available in manuscripts. ORIGINAL Material is NOT paged - patrons must use MICROFILM.

Microfilm E 445 R4 Mss 313 Series 2, Box 6, Folder 175

Moses Brown Papers

Narrative

1723

Providence

Description of the yellow fever epidemic in 1723 and its effect on the native population in RI.

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

10 Sep 1777

Providence

Page 8 - entry for "Tom negro" - "By 1/4 his Wages from the 10th of 11th Mo. 1773 when I gave him a Manumission of 1/4 - to ye 10th of 9th mo. 1777 when the Business at the Works Ceased is 3 years 10 mo and as Somethings are Chd Since paper Money came in use I take out no Loss Time but ye allow the Whole of 70 Dol . . ." On the same page also appear entries for two other men named Yarrow and Newport who are connected to Tom through their wages.

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

9 May 1774

Providence

Page 10 - "1774 9 mo. 5 - Notes gave negros - 226 pd and took up".

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1818-1819

Providence

Page 18 - Sally or Sarah Holden Cold Woman, 1818-1819.

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1763-1765

Providence

Page 23 - Prime Burden Negro, 1763-1765.

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1820-1821

Providence

Page 42 - Marge Samuel Cold Woman, 1820-1821.

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1763-1786

Providence

Page 44 - Toney Crawford Indian, 1763-1786 "Toney being Poor I dont propose to Demand the Balance Due for Rent."

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1812-1814

Providence

Page 47 - Stephen Ceaser colourd Man, 1812-1814

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1812-1825

Providence

Page 47 - Faney or Bethany a Coloured Woman, 1812-1825 

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1821-1822

Providence

Page 50 - Margery Sam Cold Woman, 1821-1822

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1809

Providence

Page 51 - Richard Williams blk Man, 1809

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1825-1827

Providence

Page 54 - Faney a Colourd Woman or Bethana or Phaney, 1825-1827

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1832-1834

Providence

Page 57 - Bethany a Colourd Woman, 1832-1834

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1763

Providence

Page 57 - Yokway Fenner Negro, 1763

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1779-1812

Providence

Page 61 - Cudge Negro, 1779-1812 "I paid Doc Barrows for his Doctrine of Cudge in his last Sickness"

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1802

Providence

Page 64 - Anthony Browning blk Man, 1802

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1778-1779

Providence

Page 77 - Tom negro, 1778-1779

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1778-1779

Providence

Page 77 - Yarrow negro, 1778-1779

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1797

Providence

Page 77 - Jacob blackman, 1797

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1803-1824

Providence

Page 80 and 234 - Joseph Dailey Indian, 1803-1824 "Joseph being deceased I Balance this acct without Calling on his family or Land"

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1785

Providence

Page 183 - Charles (Negro), 1785

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1785

Providence

Page 183 - Cloe Angell, negro, 1786-1800

Microfilm E 445 R4 - Reel 17: Ledger begins on Frame 494 Mss 313

Moses Brown Papers

Ledger

1816

Providence

Page 183 - Susan Carr, Colourd Woman, 1816

[There are many more entries for people of color in the ledger than listed] 

Microfilm E 445 R4 Mss 313 Series 3, Subseries 1, Box 7, Folder 18

Moses Brown Papers

Correspondence

18 Jan 1762

Providence

(Document #165) Letter of Administration for the estate of Fortin Wiate, Jan. 18, 1762

Microfilm E 445 R4 Mss 313 Series 3, Subseries 1, Box 7, Folder 18

Moses Brown Papers

Inventory

8 Mar 1762

Providence

(Document #166) "An Inventory of Fortin Wiate free Negro Mans Estate. . ." which was worth in pounds 189 - 7 - 0. Approved by the Town Council March 8, 1762.

Microfilm E 445 R4 Reel 12: Box 1, Folder 5, 6, 7; Box 4x, Folder 1 (Frames 525-688) Mss 313 Series 2: Subject Files

Moses Brown Papers

Records

1652-1825

Providence

Subject files on anti-slavery activities

Microfilm E 445 R4 Reel 18: Series B, Subject Files, Folder 1: Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade, begins on Frame 725 Mss 313 (Austin Collection)

Moses Brown Papers

Correspondence, Records

1789-1793

Providence

Papers relating to the organization and running of the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade

Microfilm E 445 R4 Reel 19: Frame 646 Mss 313 (Quaker Collection)

Moses Brown Papers

Minute Book

1789-1827

Providence

Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade Minute Book (Original in the NEYM archives)

Mss 9001-M Loose Vol. 2: Ledger, 1798-1807

Mowry, Daniel

Ledger

1798-1807

Smithfield

Mowry's accounts with Newport Brayton (p.127).

Mss 9001-M Box 8

Munro, Sarah

Bill of Sale

16 Oct 1776

Bristol

Sale of a negro boy named Dick, "about 8 years of age," to Timothy Ingraham of Bristol from Sarah and James Munro, administrators of the estate of Capt. Bennet Munro.

Mss 762 Box: Truman Legal Papers: Cases (Baptist Meeting vs. Brown)

Nathan H. Truman Papers

Case File

1876

Rhode Island

Includes case file for "Baptist Church vs. Brown," in which the Congdon Street Baptist Church attempted to have the noted author William J. Brown stripped of his power as a trustee, for executing an improper deed and other offenses. The file consists mostly of legal notes, abstracts from documents, and a few original documents. The date of the case appears to be 1876, although some transcribed documents are dated as early as 1844.

Mss 9001-N Box 1

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Providence Branch

Correspondence

6 Mar 1922

Providence

Letter from branch president W.P.H. Freeman to Lt. Col. Willis C. Metcalf of the R.I. State Militia, March 6 1922, thanking Metcalf for participating in a memorial service for Col. Charles Denton Young of the U.S. Army. In part: "with the co-operation of big-hearted men like yourself, there will be no race problem." 

Mss 772 Folders: 14th Regiment Correspondence & Civil War Misc.

Nelson Viall Papers

Records

c. 1861-1865


Records of Lt. Colonel of black 14th R.I. Volunteer Heavy Artillery (Colored) in the Civil War. Includes commissions and correspondence re: attempts to get pay that was owed to the regiment.

Microfilm Reel 10

New England Yearly Meeting Archives

Manumissions

1708-1827

Newport

Volume of slave manumissions from Newport-area meetings dated 1708 to 1827

Mss 9001-N Loose Vol.

Newdigate, Nathaniel

Account Book

1703-1735

Bristol

Includes many memoranda re hiring out of and deliveries made by slave named Sambo., 1703-1716. Includes agreement to lease Sambo to Jonathan Bowers for work with ship carpentry shop, October 16, 1707.

Microfilm E445 .R4, part 2, reel 27 Mss 231 sg 6

Newport Intendant of Trade

Records

1785-1790

Newport

This volume recorded all ships departing Newport, Rhode Island for the five years preceding the creation of a federal customs service (1785-1790); a handful are shipping rum to Africa as part of the triangle trade. The information for each ship includes: date cleared, vessel name, master’s name, tons of capacity, number of guns, number of crew, date and place built, date and place of registration, owners’ names, general cargo and destination. Each entry also bears the master’s signature regarding the cargo description, which is generally quite specific.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 9 Mss 365 Folder: 1771

Nicholas Cooke Collection

Complaint

30 Jan 1771

Providence

Complaint by Walter Burke of Newport against Captain Joseph Cooke for illegal sale of Joseph Manwaring's Tom on Antigua .

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 9 Mss 365 Folder: 1771

Nicholas Cooke Collection

Deed of Sale

18 Sep 1771

Providence

Sale of Prince to Cooke from Josias Lyndon.

Microfilm E445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 9 Mss 365 Folder: 1775

Nicholas Cooke Collection

Correspondence

1 Jul 1775

Providence

"Gov. Cook to the Sachems, Warriors, and female Governesses of Oneida," Draft of a letter attempting to secure the neutrality of the Oneida tribe in the war with Britain.

E445 .R4, part 2, reels 25-27 Mss 16

Nicholas Peck Papers

Papers

1790-1849

Bristol

Nicholas Peck (1762-1847) was a slave-trader and merchant of Bristol, R.I. This collection consists of papers dated 1790 to 1849. Included are correspondence, bills, receipts, ledgers, insurance certificates and ship's papers regarding U.S. coastal trade and the African slave trade. One particularly interesting unsigned document dated 1812 gives instructions to a ship captain to trade for slaves at the mouth of the Gallinus River, at Cape Mount and on the Gold Coast of Africa, and instructs the captain to land the slave cargo at Trinidad. Other items include a letter from John Brown of Charleston, S.C. (not the famous John Brown of Providence) dated 7/1/1805 re purchase of 6 slaves; two from George F. Usher dated 1/31/1821 and 6/7/1821, apparently re smuggling cargo of slaves ashore at Martinique and Port Royal; and from Henry Bull dated 9/9/1841 offering two slaves for sale.

Mss 1132 Folder 2: Diary Vol. 2, Part 2

Noah Robinson Diaries

Diary 

1778

Massachusetts

Diary kept during his service in Massachusetts regiment of Col. John Daggett's. The entry for March 1, 1778 describes an offence suffered by a black man and the subsequent entries give information about the resolution of the conflict. 

MSS 1132 Folder 5: Diary Vol. 5 Aug - Oct 1787

Noah Robinson Diaries

Diary 

1787

Massachusetts

A poem appears at the end of the diary, not in the handwriting of Noah Robinson which reads:

The Orange tree in southern Isle

Its fragant branches spreads

Where the poor suffering negro toils

And With his hardships bleeds.

Mfilm

F89

.N8

N6 Reel 1 (930972)

North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1732-1741

North Kingstown

Volume 7, 1731 -1742

Pg 237 Mar 1741 Jack Greene keeping an Indian woman called Jenn…., Ann Bell take the Indian woman Jenny Luses? That is sick and Jack Green………Clerk give the Sergent an order to convey an Indian woman named Ruth…….to the town of Jamestown.

Pg 246 July 1741 Joseph Northup, overseer of the poor..the case of an Indian named Easter? At Somen Seazers

Pg 263 July 1741 Jack Green keep Indian woman Genney Leucres?, an Indian woman named Ruther…otherwise to depart said town

Pg 359 1732 Edward Dyre paid for keeping Indian called Phebe

Pg 360 1732 Lidia, Indian child flung on this town, bound until age of Twen…….being 2 and 1/ 2 years old

Pg 370 13 July 173? ...Eldred one of the Overseers of the Poor of [..] this Council that he put an Indian Child [...] Orphan under the care of Indian Eaber [...] said child Ten days and deceased who [...] child finding all necessaries therefore the [...] Council orders that the said Indian Eaber be [...] of the Town Treasury two pounds ...

Mfilm

F89

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records


North Kingstown

Volume 8, 1742 - 1756

pg 36 Mar 1743 note against Indian Grere

Pg 321 George Tibbits Inventory includes Spanish Indian man named Jack, Negro woman named Phillie and negro boy named Prince

Pg 347 19 aug 1753 Betty Scooner an Indian woman died Intestate, pg 348 admin by Mercy/Marey Scooner

Pg 366 14 Jul 1755 Joseph Reynolds a negro man late of North Kingstown, had been absent/unheard of for 6 years past……personal belongs and inventory

Pg 425 12 Mar 1753 Seaver, a free negro appeared in Council and made Choice of [Daniel Green] [...] his Gardeen. That the Clerke give said Daniel Green administration [...] Jacob Chease alias Seaver, Dec'd he giving bond according to [...]

Pg 433 to Benjamin Congdon on estate of John Indian son of Am…….

Pg 461 Feb 1748 Edward Dyre took an account in North Kingtown of Whites (1665), Blacks (184) and Indians (86).

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1705-1715

North Kingstown

Volume 5, 1697 – 1719 

pg 70 1705 a horse belonging to Indian Tuis, also swine of Indian Tuis

pg 98 1708/1709 Squaw Sarah Beer which was drowned ....from Connanicut to Narraganset and that John Potter.......and that the children may ......him their father, children so left by said Indians shall be bound to John Potter until boys be 21 years of age and girls 18 years of age.....he the said John ///// considerable charges already about the said children.

Pg 168 16 Jul 1715 Indian servants one named Lize and the other …….And a negro woman and a negro boy….Mariah and the boy named Trinkelo……to my son--signed by Sarah Potter

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1720-1730

North Kingstown

Volume 6 , 1719-1730

Pg 20 John Potter of Kingston discharged Mr John Greene of Warwick of find……Indian man call Tom Brood……closthes ..said Greene is bound to find said Indian 8 Dec 1720?…a molatto

Pg 25 13 Feb 1720/1721 by John Cole, an Indian Boy..against Charles Dickinson, Junior his master…immoderately corrected and beaten him therefore discharge the said ………..or servant from his apprenticeship

Pg 33 9 Oct 1720 said servant Tomb Derutter..from his servitude by indenture to …Abiel Shearman. Molatto fellow called …….Matteson now in service of Mr Updikes be free from this day.

Pg 36 11 Sep 1721 Elisha Cole shall have …..shillings out of the town treasury…the Indian boy which was taken.

Pg 93 Jul 1722 An Indian woman called Sarah Champlin complaint…she was wrongfully….of Colchester…said Newton Bill of Cost concerning Sarah Champlin: to Summons, Constable, Danis?, to Thos Willcocks, Swareing and Evidence, to Clerk for copying and other services

Pg 116 1723 Seaser a free Negroe man….a child named Jacob on the town….not able to maintain the same--Jeremiah Gould…..child until it comes of the age of 24 years. Peg a mustee woman ran away…a child about 3 years old, child will suffer if not care…..William Havens to take said child.

Pg 219 1726 Frank a negroe woman servant to Mr Thomas Eldred made charge…to be her master and said John Eldred appeared and promised to take said negroe.

Pg 354 May 1730 Molatto child aged 6 years….named Hannah be bound to Daniel Green until age 21. Indian child named James …..5 the 10th of March last be bound to Roshe ???ford until 24 years of age.

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1757-1779

North Kingstown

Volume 9, 1756-1768

Pg 215 14 Feb 1763 Thomas Fortain, a negroe man died intestate, admin by Abigail Mingo, negro woman

Pg 259 Nov 1764 Will of Robert Hall---daughter Ruth Hall..a negro man named Ceaser to be at her use until he at age of 30, then be sett free from Bondage

Pg 473 Abigail Mingo, negro woman, letter of admin for Thomas Fortain

Pg 493 Benjamin Easton, an Indian Man, to depart this town

Pg 546- 1757 [An interview of a slave named Jack Minor in which he is asked where he was born, who brought him from Africa, and the names of all his masters.]

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1783-1795

North Kingstown

Volume 13, 1783 - 1795

Pag 21 Nov 1783 Clerk put up …to acquaint the inhabitants of this town ….law against taking in strangers and ….them on penalty of the law and more ……harboring of blacks, etc. James Eldred constable immediately ..every black person who abides in this town not being inhabitants of this town to depart said town and direct the people who harbour them to ….them out of this town.

Pg 101 July 1787 Giles Pearce cited to appear..for his taking a black family…his house in said town.

Pg 152 1790 Indian woman Mary Primus

Pg 155 Jan 1790 Lucy Davis an Indian or Mustee pregnant with child of a Bastard, therefore Lucy to immediately to Depart this T….

Pg 159 9 Apr 1792 John Hazard brought before….his negroe woman named Orange….years old on 21 June next.

Pg 186 9 Jun 1792 Abraham Isaac alias Hunt--an Indian man copy of removal from East Greenwich, adjudge his last legal residence was North Kingstown.

Pg 208 Oct 1793 Mary Allen molatto woman bring her child James Allen to be apprentice to John Bowles to 21 years, being 5 years on 23 June last.

Pg 213 Patience Fowler Indian Woman…..her child intrudes on this town……oldest child..last settled in South Kingstown.

Pg 249 14 Mar 1795 Phebe Sherman, black woman kept at John Westwick? For sickness

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1797

North Kingstown

Volume 14, 1796-1800

Pg 146 May 1797 Frances Taylor black girl..be kept at Henry Eldred

Pg 154 19 Feb 1797 Dorcas Congdon Indian Woman flung her son Cuff Congdon on this town. Black woman named Sarah who served her time with ………is sick with the veneral disease in suffering condition

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1797-1801

North Kingstown

Volume 15, 1798 - 1802

Pg 41 10 Dec 1798 Jack Phillips a negroe died

Pg 211 12 Jun 1797 Sarah Taylor, negro,….. a poor child flung on this town..bound to Ephraim Mitchel, ?Junior and wife…turns 21 years ?he being 11 years old on 14 Feb 1801.

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1806-1808

North Kingstown

Volume 16, 1805 - 1810

Pg 11 Samuel D Allen presented negrom man Jack, 29 years old, able bodied capable of getting his living

Pg 44 1806 Benjamin Smith alias Gardner , a black man, pox in Wickford, be removed to dwelling place lately of Thomas Hill

Pg 140 4 June 1808 Zebulon Wamsley Indian man..by his conduct is wasting his estate, not able to take care…give William Taylor full power of the person and estate of Zebulon Wamsley

Pg 146 Cesar Rose, black man, died intestate

Pg 161 Sarah Jonathan, Indian Woman who removed to Charles Town has returned to abide, and is of Ill Fame. She pay $7 and upon neglect of pay by …….whip her 15 Stripes on her naked back and immediately leave this town. Same for Waite Sweet and her daughter Freelove, returned from Warwick…$7 fine of 20 stripes on each

Pg 316 Apr 1808? Quan Howland, negroe man and wife and children..depart this town

Mfilm

F89

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1813

North Kingstown

Volume 19, 1811 - 1814

Pg 191 Dec 1813 Bess Sherman, woman of color, shall remove to South Kingstown

Pg 210 Samuel W Brigham? Of Pautuket, had James Brown, son of Scipio, a person of color, in apprentice under 21 years

Mfilm

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North Kingstown Town Council Records

Town Council Records

1820

North Kingstown

Volume 22, 1821 - 1823

Pg 49 12 Dec 1820 Freelove Onion, woman of color deceased intestate

MSS 9001-O Oversize

Oaths of Enlistment

Oaths of Enlistment

1776


The RI General Assembly passed an act at their October 1775 session calling for the raising of an army for defense of the colony. The RIHS has 33 documents on which 76 men sign the oath to enlist. On January 30, 1776 a man named William Mingo, categorized as "Negro" makes his mark next to his name.

E445 .R4, part 1, reels 19-23 Mss 315

Obadiah Brown I Collection

Papers

1740-1762

Providence

Obadiah Brown I (1712-1762), a mercantile trader, was directly involved with the slave trade on two occasions. Brown was master of sloop Mary, owned by his brother, James Brown II (1698-1739). The sloop Mary made a trip to Africa in 1736 becoming Rhode Island's first slave ship. This voyage was not profitable and was never repeated by the Browns. In 1759, Obadiah Brown's firm, Obadiah Brown & Co. made a second attempt at the slave trade sending the ship Wheel of Fortune to Africa. The ship was captured by French privateers. Most of Brown's papers relate to his business ventures including trade in the West Indies and the operation of a rum distillery. Unfortunately, there is nothing in this collection relating to the 1736 voyage of Mary and there are only a few incidental accounts relating to the 1758 fitting out of Wheel of Fortune (see "Ledger No. 5", p.122).

Upon the death of Obadiah Brown in 1762 the following document was drawn up: "Inventory of the Household Furniture & other Goods at the Spermaceti Works, the half of which belongs to the Estate of Capt. Obadiah Brown deceased; The Quarter part of which is sold by Mary Brown the Widow and Executor of said deceased to Nicholas, Joseph & John Brown of Providence Merchants by Bill of Sale hereunto annexed" 

Listed on the inventory are:

1 Negro Man named Yarrow 1050

1 Ditto do Reuben 1100

1 ditto do Tom 1250

1/2 a Negro Girl named Tulip [unreadable]

Finding aid available.

Mss 943 

Old Stone Bank Records

Ledger


Providence

Includes account ledgers for several identified African-American depositors.

Mss 943 Series 24 Applications, Box 2

Old Stone Bank Records

Loan Application

15 May 1873

Providence

In John Carroll's loan application says that he has a "new house nearly completed, in negro neighborhood."

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 6 1889-1891

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

11 Nov 1890

Providence

Receipts for funeral of Lydia A. Marshall, filed November 11, 1890.

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 6 1889-1891

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

16 Oct 1890

Providence

Receipt to Violetta Potter dated 10/16/1890 from Horace B. Knowles, Undertaker and Embalmer for services including the casket, preserving the remains and for "Colored Bearers, $8.00" 

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 6 1889-1891

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

22 Dec 1891

Providence

Receipt to Estate of Abbie L. Waterman dated Dec. 22, 1891 from Horace B. Knowles, Undertaker and Embalmer for services including "Colored Bearers, $8.00"

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 7 1892-June 1895

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

15 Jan 1892

Providence

Receipts for funeral of Abbie L. Waterman, filed January 15, 1892

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 7 1892-June 1895

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

26 Jan 1894

Providence

Receipts for funeral of Mary Ann Chace, filed January 26, 1894

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 7 1892-June 1895

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

17 Jan 1894

Providence

Receipt to Estate of Mary Ann Chace dated Jan. 17, 1894 from Horace B. Knowles, Undertaker and Embalmer for services including "Colored Bearers, $8.00"

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 9 1900-July 1902

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

1 Jul 1901

Providence

Receipts for funeral of Ellen M. Young, filed July 1, 1901

Mss 943 Series 25 "Miscellaneous" Box 9 1900-July 1902

Old Stone Bank Records 

Receipt

3 Jun 1901

Providence

Receipt to Estate of Ellen M. Young dated June 3, 1901 from H.A. Remington, Furnishing Undertaker for services including "Services of 4 colored lifters, $8.00"

Mss 1015 Folder 2, Ledger 1785-1805

Oliver Gardiner Papers

Accounts

30 May 1796

North Kingstown

Includes accounts with Cuf Gardner, 5/30/1796 - labor exchanged for groceries. (not identified as POC)

Mss 369

Paul Campbell Research Notes

Research Notes

c.1976-1985

Rhode Island

In 1975, the Narragansett Indian Tribe filed suit to regain land in southern RI which they claimed was illegally taken from them in 1880. In 1976, Paul Campbell was hired by the RI Attorney General's office as historian for the defense and along with his research partner, Glenn LaFantasie, he began photocopying documents ranging from 1524-1979. 

This collection contains many of Campbell's research notes on the Narragansetts as well as some of LaFantasie's. The notes are mainly photocopies of primary and secondary sources, trial documents, handwritten notes, drafts and correspondence regarding publishing.

See Finding Aid for detailed list of individual documents.

Mss 9005 Box 10, page 62

Peck Collection

Correspondence

15 Jun 1797

Bristol

In a letter to Welcome Arnold, John Brown articulates pro-slavery attitudes and asks Arnold for the names of members of the Abolition Society.

Mss 9005 Box 2, page 12

Peck Collection

Bill of Sale

10 Jan 1745/6

Bristol

Sale of Sarah Jethro and her daughter Abigail by Rogers Richmond of Bristol to John Mingo, negro.

Mss 804 Vol. 1 Ledger, 1809-1818

Peleg Wilbour Account Books

Ledger

1809-1813

Warwick

Accounts include Pero Cheese (p. 63) and Mary Vaughn (p.79).

Mss 74 Box 1, Folder 5: Loose Accounts, 1800-1804

Perry Greene Arnold Papers

Bill

28 Feb 1803

Exeter/Tiverton/East Greenwich

To Jack Brusto for shoes and stockings purchased by Arnold


*Mss 74

Perry Greene Arnold Papers

Papers

1802-1821

Exeter/Tiverton/East Greenwich

Justice of the Peace warrant for arrest of John Brusto for desertion from brigatine Betsey (November 29, 1802)


*Mss 74

Perry Greene Arnold Papers




In book titled "Account Labour" (1818-1821) is a record of payment to Jack Gardiner for "3/4 wall on bur(y)ing Ground" (September 30, 1820) and "2 days on high way Warwick" (September 28 and 29, 1821) along with records of payments made to other men.

Mss 74 Box 2 Folder 12: Indentures, 1801-1804

Perry Greene Arnold Papers

Certificate of Indenture

19 Nov 1804

East Greenwich

2 Certificates of apprenticeship for (1) black Man called Zebida Briggs & (1) black man called Henry Briggs.

Mss 74 Box 2, Folder 7: Log Book Sloop Providence, 1798-1799

Perry Greene Arnold Papers

Log Book

1798-1799


The ship hired on a few "negroes" as laborers while in Surinam.

Mss 9001-P Box 5, Folder: Diaries 1862-1901

Perry, John A.

Correspondence

16 Aug 1865


Includes letter dated 1865/08/16 from Gov. William Sprague to Gen. A.G. Howard, recommending Perry for position. "Mr. Perry has been an earnest worker & advocate for the colored man for a long time. He aided me with the President in the movement for making soldiers of the Blacks and is now anxious to aid in the work of protection and direction to the black man south."

Mss 9001-P Box 5, Folder 1: Administrator of Estate of William Green…

Perry, Samuel

Agreement

4 Feb 1785

South Kingston

Bond of Samuel Perry to the town council as administrator of the estate of William Greene, a black Revolutionary War veteran.

Mss 9001-P Box 7, Folder 2: Pastor, First Universalist Church, 1788-1859

Pickering, David

Marriage Records

1788-1859

Providence

A page in the back of the volume is entitled "Marriages of Coloured People, Celebrated by David Pickering, Pastor of the First Universalist Society and Church in Providence, State of Rhode Island." Six marriages are listed:

Moses Hall and Nancy Proffit.................July 29, 1827

Alfred Brown and Matilda S.B. Ellis.........December 26, 1827

John Plummer and Abigail Browne...........December 8, 1831

James L. Waters and Catherine Browne.... February 9, 1832

John Potter and Silvy Brown...................December 13,1832

Henry Jackson and Bridget Ann Potter.......July __, 1833 [This one is crossed out].

Mss 9001-P Loose Vol.

Portsmouth Asylum

Book of Registry

1832-1856

Portsmouth

Includes listings of inmates, some are listed as "colored."

Mss 9001-P Box 9

Potter, James

Complaint / Warrant

1750

Providence

Alleges theft of his"musquash boxes" by Jack and Tobee (belonging to William Harris) and Pompe (belonging to Benjamin Potter, Jr.).

Mss 9001-P Box 9

Potter, John

Will

23 Jan 1790

South Kingstown

In his will, Potter leaves Rose and Peg to his wife.

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Oversized Vol. 1: Ledger Inn Accounts, 1760-1773

Preserved Pearce Papers

Ledger

1760-1773

East Greenwich

Includes accounts with "Oliver Fry, black fellow," undated (p.46) and Yallow Fry, 1765 (p.233).

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Oversized Vol. 2: Ledger, Store, 1771-1773

Preserved Pearce Papers

Ledger

1771-1784

East Greenwich

Includes accounts with James Allin (p.179).

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 1, Folder 6: Ledger, Inn Accounts, 1757-1759

Preserved Pearce Papers

Ledger

1757-1759

East Greenwich

Includes accounts with "Joshua, Engin" (index page under J), Obadiah Seser (p.42), Oliver Fry (p.43, 56), William/Bill Seser (p.43), Ebenezer Seser (p.43), Sambo Seser (p.44), Samson Sisel (p.69) and possibly others

*Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 1, Folder 7: Ledger Inn Accounts, 1758-1766

Preserved Pearce Papers

Accounts

1758-1764

East Greenwich

Innkeeper's account book including charges against Africa Arnold (January 9, 1759), Sambo Wener (January 1759-May 1760), Job Sambo (January 9, 1760), Oliver Fry (March 14, 1762), and Sam Spencer, Ingin (December 10, 1762).

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 1, Folder 10: Ledger Inn Accounts, 1763

Preserved Pearce Papers

Ledger

1763

East Greenwich

Ledger of an inn keeper with accounts with Perow Neger/Jonathan Slocum (p.68) and Jobe Samboo (p. 82).

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 2, Folder 4: Ledger, Inn and Tailor Accounts, 1778-1781

Preserved Pearce Papers

Accounts

1778-1780

East Greenwich

Includes accounts with Primus Babock (p.133), Prince Gardner (p.7), Cuff Tillinghast (p.7&8), Cato Greene (p. 114), Prince Ingram (p.116), Caesar Rose (p.67), Prince Watson (p.18), Paris Gardner (p.127), Ceasar Fince (p.30), Pero Morey (p.47&137) and possibly others.

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 2, Folder 5: Ledger, Inn and Tailor Accounts, 1791-1794

Preserved Pearce Papers

Accounts

1791-1794

East Greenwich

Account book includes charge to Pomp Negro (p.14), Prince Hammon (p.47), David Cuff (p.47), Prince Greene (p.58), Lonnon Hall (p.243), and possibly others.

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 2, Folder 6: Ledger Inn and Tailor Accounts, 1791-1796

Preserved Pearce Papers

Accounts

1792

East Greenwich

Includes making a jacket & britches for Pomp Negro, 1792

Mss 72 Series 2: Accounts, Box 2, Folder 13: Loose Accounts, 1770-1774

Preserved Pearce Papers

Bill

1 Dec 1772

East Greenwich

Bill for shoes purchased by Nathan Greene for a black boy and an indian boy.

Microfilm HA730 P9 A6 Mss 214 sg 6

Providence Census Collection

Census

1791, 1825, 1845

Providence

The 1791 census of Providence lists heads of household, and counts "All Other Free Persons", and "Slaves". Several of the heads are noted as "Negro". The 1825 census of Providence lists heads of household, and counts "coloured males" and "coloured females" aged under 18, 18 to 50, and over 50. The partial 1845 census of Providence, lists heads of household, and counts "Colored Persons", male and female, aged under 10, 24 to 36, 36-55, 55-100, and over 100. Apparently, those between the ages of 10 and 23 were not counted. 

Mss 229 Box 2, Folder 20: Justice of the Peace, 1832

Providence County Records Collection

Promissory Note

6 Feb 1832

Johnston

Autographed note of James Sears "of coller," labourer, to pay Alpheus Hawkins. 

Microfilm E 445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 12 Mss 9001-P Box 11

Providence Insurance Company 

Records

1801-1806

Providence

This volume contains copies of approved requests for insurance by shipowners, covering only 1801 to 1806. The requests usually give some information on the proposed itinerary, and the expected value of the cargo; a few are for voyages to Africa, although the company's charter forbade insuring ships involved in the slave trade.

Mss 647 Box 2, Fol 8

Providence Marine Society

Bill

1895-1896

Providence

Bills paid to William H. Williams, 1895-1896, for catering Marine Society lunches and dinners. Williams was a successful African-American caterer in business on the East Side of Providence.

Mss 653

Providence Shelter for Colored Children

Records

1838-present

Providence

The collections contains admissions records and information (1839-1934), records of meetings, annual reports, minutes and financial notes (1838-1993), and other documents relating to the organization. See Finding aid for list/locations of documents.

Mss 9001-P Loose Vol.

Providence Tailor

Accounts

1772-1782; 1790-1797

Providence

Daybook identifies blacks for whom the unidentified tailor made clothing including Quaco Butler (p. 118, 120), Ceasor Sterry (p. 136, p. 166), and possibly others.

Mss 214 sg 9

Providence Town Council Minutes

Examination

1804

Providence

Examinations of Sarah Babcock, Rusha Jenckes and Reba Congdon, all apparently women of color, January 27 1804; order to Bess Bowers, "a transient black woman," to leave town or be publicly whipped, July 27 1804.

Mss 214 sg 9 Vol. 2

Providence Town Council Minutes

Petition

1803

Providence

William Goddard petition (July 29, 1803) to manumit Cud Gordon? Maria Watson, born in South Kingston, sold by Jeffry Watson to Peter Taylor of Providence, then to Job Sheldon, is being returned to South Kingston. Two girls of color committed to the Bridewell by Henry Alexander (September 1803). Sarah Tillinghast at John Brown's "song house" was disorderly. Other accounts also.

Mss 214 sg 9 Vol. 2: 1806-1807

Providence Town Council Minutes

Examinations

1806-1807

Providence

Examinations of POC, with life stories of many of those examined & ordered removed from the town.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 3, No. 1240

Providence Town Papers

Bond

2 Jun 1777

Providence

Isaac Paine's bond as surety to the town on Daniel Tefft's servant, Francis, being freed.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 1, Box 2, page 90, No. 185

Providence Town Papers

Order to Sheriff

2 Nov 1751

Providence

Fearing that blacks are spreading smallpox the town council passed "acts of assembly" to confine them and others to the indoors after 9:00pm.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol 3, No. 1245 

Providence Town Papers

Accounts

Mar-May 1777

Providence

"Account of the time sundry persons remained in the Hospital at North Providence" which identifies black patients and the deaths of Dinah Tillinghast, Roaze Chace and others.

*Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol 5, No. 1930

Providence Town Papers

Examination

20 Mar 1780

Providence

Sarah Gardner, an Indian woman, of Warwick and Sarah Cockings, a mulatto woman of Providence.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 5, No. 2013 

Providence Town Papers

Oath of Allegiance

21 Jun 1780

Providence

Pomp Reaves was among those who took the oath of allegiance and was mustered into the Continental service.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 5, No. 2131

Providence Town Papers

Receipt

15 Jul 1780

Providence

Nicholas Power received bounty from John Brown for Negro Ceasar for his enlisting into battalion with permission from Power.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 6, No. 2745

Providence Town Papers

Warrant

23 Jul 1782

Providence

Warrant for the following persons to appear before the Town Council "Mrs. McCollough dwelling at the House of Joseph Willson, Margarett Bowler alias Margarett Fairchild a negrowoman together with all the persons dwelling in the House with heron the 21st Day of the present month, and Elizabeth Gardner an Indian or Mulatto Woman . . .together with the following persons at the House of Patience Ingraham viz Nancy Brown alias Nancy Clarkson, Ethel Gladding alias Ethel Hill. . ." Patience Ingraham charged with "keeping a common ill-governed, and disorderly House, and of permitting to reside there, persons of Evil Name and Fame, and of Dishonest Conversation drinking, tipling, Whoring, and Misbehaving themselves to the Damage and Nusance of the Town and great Disturbance of the Public Peace"

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 11, No. 4560

Providence Town Papers

Correspondence

11 Dec 1787

Cranston

From Cambridge, MA to Cranston Town Council re: Cato Freeman. Saying it is fine if he stays in Cranston but can be sent back to Cambridge if he becomes a chargable problem and cannot support himself & his family; Cambridge will reimburse Cranston if they have to use any funds to support him or send him back.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 12, No. 5216

Providence Town Papers

Warrant

23 Jun 1789

Providence

Warrant for Pedro, a mulatto accused of theft in Wrentham.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 12, No. 5260

Providence Town Papers

Accounts

7 Sep 1789

Providence

Accounts of the Town Council with Henry Bowen for notifying black men Ishmael Brown, John Hix, Jack Greene and Samuel Strange to appear before the Town Council.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 13, No. 5636

Providence Town Papers

Warrant

31 May 1790

Providence

Town segeant account warrant for the removal of Cato Freeman & family

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 13, No. 5671

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

12 July 1790

Providence

of Cato Freeman & family from Providence to Cambridge via North Providence.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 18, No. 7980: 

Providence Town Papers

Receipt

11 Jun 1793

Providence

Bill from Vilet Sterling to town for boarding Prince Thurston, a "poor black adjudged... to belong to Newport." 

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 18, No. 7982

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

5 Jun 1793

Providence

The Town Council's order to the Sargeant to remove Prince Thurston to Newport.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10059

Providence Town Papers

Lease

21 Sep 1795

Providence

Indenture of lease for Cuff Robard for the upper part of a house owned by Henry Bowen at India Point.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10100 

Providence Town Papers

Indenture

30 Nov 1795

Providence

Indenture of Betty Church's daughter, Benoni, a mulatto boy to George Greene of Warwick.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10142

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

17 Dec 1794

Providence

Order for the removal of Waty Greene, a mulatto girl, to be taken from Providence.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10143 

Providence Town Papers

Receipts

17 Dec 1795

Providence

Order payable to the coroner for inquest "on the murdered body of a negro man called Paul Jones"

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10165

Providence Town Papers

Receipts

17 Dec 1795

Providence

Receipt for John Smith for the coffin, shroud and burial for Jones "found stabbed in the street"

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10190

Providence Town Papers

Account

1794-1796

Providence

Account with the town of Providence for Pardon Bowen's caring for smallpox patients including those at Moad Sisco's dwelling.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 23, No. 10199

Providence Town Papers

Indenture

4 Aug 1805

Providence

Indenture of Thomas, son of mulatto Betty Church as an apprentice to Stephen Greene of Warwick.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 26, No. 11261 

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

6 Oct 1796

Providence

The Town Council orders Cato Gardner, his wife and son, Samuel, to be returned to Newport.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 26, No. 11268

Providence Town Papers

Order

14 Oct 1796

Providence

Order to pay for a coffin for Nero Douglas and another negro man "who died up town."

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 26, No. 11401

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

5 Sep 1796

Providence

Gideon Day charges Council for removing Mary Cesar alias Mary Whipple from Providence.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 26, No. 11402

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

8 Nov 1796

Providence

Council ordered Mary Cesar alias Mary Whipple, "a free mulatto woman said to be...wife of one Jonathan alias Jefferey Whipple" to Smithfield.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 33, No. 13914

Providence Town Papers

List

1800

Providence

"List of Persons reported to have been attacked with a Malignant Fever." Includes the names of some persons of color.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 1, Vol. 39A, No. 16751

Providence Town Papers

Fine

20 May 1707

Providence

Sprague is fined for assault on Negro Frank.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 60, No. 008728

Providence Town Papers

List

9 Oct 1806

Providence

A list of people recommended for expulsion including Cuff Robards and his family, John Thomas, Lucy Gardner, Newport Kelly and wife and others.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 60, No. 008746

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

18 Aug 1806

Providence

Order for expulsion to Johnston of Mary Caesar and her daughters Martha (age 12), Clarissa (age 8) and Fanny (age 2).

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 86, No. 0023961

Providence Town Papers

List

1815

Providence

Names and residences of people who received public assistance after the 1815 gale including Peggy Patrick and Rachael.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 88, No. 0024940 

Providence Town Papers

Examination

31 Jul 1815

Providence

Examination of Newport Thurston

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 88, No. 0024971 

Providence Town Papers

Complaint

27 Apr 1816

Providence

Moses Staunton complains about his housekeeper, Mary Cooper, "a woman of colour." He tells of her drunkeness, neglect of his children, and her threats to burn down his house and kill his family. He asks that she be banished to Rehoboth, "her native place."

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 105, No. 0034531

Providence Town Papers

Report

Dec 1819-6 Jun 1820

Providence

"Report of the Overseer of the Poor ... gives the names of those supported and assisted" Includes Harry Brown, Stella Corlis, Jane Burnett, Arsee, "a Chinese (black)", Cato Slocum, Thanna Briggs, Prince Whitman's widow, Abby Sibro (deceased), Sarah Sisco and others.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 111, No. 0038651

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

23 Sep 1822

Providence

Order to remove Betsey Dursey from Providence to Troy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 111, No. 0038670

Providence Town Papers

Complaint

Mar 1823

Providence

Cuff Roberts of Coventry asks permission of Council to get pension from Providence.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 111, No. 0038696

Providence Town Papers

Report

9 Sep 1822

Providence

Describes four black families as living in a small house who must toss their waste onto a gangway.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 111, No. 0038860

Providence Town Papers

License

1822

Providence

Includes a license "to retail strong liquors" which includes a clause forbidding the grantee from allowing "any person of colour to take charge of his store."

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 112, No. 0039155

Providence Town Papers

List

24 Jun 1822

Providence

A list of names of colored heads of families and the owners of their residences.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 118, No. 0043139

Providence Town Papers

Report

Jun 1823

Providence

Report of the Overseer of the Poor for the year ending June 1823. Identifies Henry Brown, Sophia Concy, Nancy Cusing, Lyllis Dimbo, Bettsy French, Harriet Greene, Newcom Goree, Susan Hopkins, Sarah Mathewson, Lucy McKenzie, Nimble Nightingale, Sarah Sheviateaux, Sarah Sisco, Fanny Tiffany as well as others.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 127, No. 0048290

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

13 Mar 1826

Providence

Order to remove Henry Gray and his wife Betsy Gray alias Betsy Singleton from Providence. 

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol 141, page 96, No. 0056943

Providence Town Papers

Receipt

22 Feb 1829

Providence

Coroner's bill for William Johnson who drowned in Canal Dam.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 3, Vol. 145, No. 0059209

Providence Town Papers

Order for Removal

15 Dec 1830

Providence

The Town Council orders the removal of Patena Clarke and her son Ceasar Clarke from Providence to Westerly.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 0931 

Providence Town Papers

Bond

27 Mar 1708

Providence

Bond of Thomas Angel as surety for mulato woman named Hope and her children.

Mss 214 sg 1, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 0947

Providence Town Papers

Bond

24 Jun 1723

Providence

Bond of John Brown of Smithfield as surety for Negro Felix.

Mss 9001-P Box 12

Prudence Island

Coroners Inquest

17 Aug 1733

Prudence Island (Portsmouth)

Inquiry into the deaths of "a certain Indian man and a Negro man that Drone on shore...."

Mss 465 Box 1, Folder 4: 1794-

Ray Greene (1765-1849) Papers

Correspondence

11 Mar 1797

Warwick

Letter from members of the Abolition Society (Thomas Arnold, William Buffum, Edward Thurber, David Buffum, George Benson, Oziel Wilkinson, Thomas Hazard, Jr., Obadiah Brown, and William Almy) to Ray Greene, U.S. Attorney for the district of Rhode Island regarding the ship Ann. "We having cause to impart that the Ship Ann...has been Employed in a Voyage to Africa for Slaves Contrary to Law...."

Mss 9001-R Box 1, Folder: Pomp Reaves, of Cranston, Deed to Gideon Brown

Reaves, Pomp

Deed

8 Sep 1784

Cranston

Deed for land in Cranston

Mss 662 Box 1696-1770, Folder 1 (of 3)

Rehoboth Town Papers

Bill

11 Aug 1767

Rehoboth, MA

To town for nurturing & providing for Jusith Garrit, Indian woman - 5 weeks

Mss 662 Box 1696-1770, Folder 3 (of 3)

Rehoboth Town Papers

Bills

1767-1769

Rehoboth, MA

Three bills in the collection are for the "keeping and boarding of Morea a Poor Negro Woman belonging to said Town..." from 1767-1769.

Mss 622 Box 1, Folder 11: Journals, 1804-1806

Rev. John Pitman Diaries

Diary 

Jun/Jul 1805

Providence

Entries mentions hearing W Paul, "a black man" preaching (p. 24); "This week Black Paul preach'd....An excellent preacher much admired" (p.25); "heard Eld. Thomas Paul a blackman preach at the Baptist meeting house" (p. 26); Tuesday J2 In the evening heard W Benjamin Paul a blackman preach at Elder Cornel's" (p.28). Other blacks in Providence may be mentioned in this journal as well as other volumes of Pitman's diaries.

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 1, Subseries A: First Rhode Island Regiment (Black Regiment) Boxes 1, 2, 6*, 7*, 10* & Shepley

Revolutionary War Military Records

Records

1775-1783

Rhode Island

Includes extensive documentation: a large number of company muster rolls, etc. dating 1775-1783; “Size Roll and Returns”, 1780 (1 vol.); Roster and enlistment book, 2/1781-1782 (cover reads “Angell's Regiment”); Pay book, 1781-1783; Returns book, 2/1780-4/1782; three orderly books for Stark's brigade, (7/1779-6/1780) & one unknown party (5/1779-10/1779) See Finding Aid for detailed list.

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 1, Subseries A, Box 1, Folder 52: Free and Slave Enlistments

Revolutionary War Military Records

Muster Roll

Dec 1779

Foster

List of men enlisted with Lt. Peter Burlingame/Col. Christopher Greene, 2nd Company of Foster, including freemen and slaves. Names of men include Scippio Brown, drummer; Cuff Gardner, fifer; Dick Cozins, fifer, privates Africa Burk, Brittain Saltison, and Bristol Arnold.

Mss 673 sg 2, Series 1, Subseries A, Box 6, Folder 29: Muster Roll (East Greenwich)

Revolutionary War Military Records

Muster Roll

Mar 1779

East Greenwich

R.I. Continentals, 1st Regiment, Col. Christopher Greene/Thomas Arnold, muster roll at East Greenwich includes many men of color

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 1, Subseries A, Box 7, Folder 3: Pay at Camp RI Village

Revolutionary War Military Records

Pay Roll

10 Feb 1781

Camp Rhode Island Village

Col. Christopher Greene/Daniel S. Dexter, list of people paid including many men of color

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 1, Subseries A, Box 7, Folder 25: Muster Roll

Revolutionary War Military Records

Muster Roll

Sep 1782

Rhode Island

Roll for Jeremiah Olney/William Humphrey's Company includes name of Prince Cleare

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 1, Subseries B, Box 7, Folder 32: Pay Roll

Revolutionary War Military Records

Pay Roll

May 1777

Rhode Island

R.I. Continentals Pay Roll, 2nd Regiment, Col. Isreal Angell, Capt. Shaw's Company includes name of Private Prince Lippet.

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 2, Subseries A, Box 8, Folder 1: Return of Effectives

Revolutionary War Military Records

Enlistments

17 Feb 1776

Newport

List of men enlisted in Col. William Richmond's regiment, Capt. Christopher Manchester's Company identifies men of color. All eleven appear to be labourers from Newport.

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 4, Subseries E, Box 3, Folder 69: Bounty Receipts at North Providence

Revolutionary War Military Records

Receipt

6 Aug 1778

North Providence

Receipt by hand of Esek Hopkins for bounty paid for enlistment of his "Negro Loser" [Losher?] in the 1st Regiment Providence Co. Militia (Mathewson's regiment, Jencks' company).

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 4, Subseries E, Box 3, Folder 101: Subscriptions for Bounty

Revolutionary War Military Records

Subscription

1 Feb 1781

Cumberland

Subscriptions for bounty to be paid to Bristol Olney and pay to Capt. Amos Whipple

Mss 673 sg 2 Series 9, Box 3, Folder 169: Whipple, Jabez Capt. 

Revolutionary War Military Records

Letter of Allegiance

3 Sept 1776

Nantucket Island

Sloop Independence: Appointment (by crew) of Jabez Whipple - crew that signed the letter includes "Pampo Negro".

Mss 663 Box 1 Papers 1709-1836, Folder: 1774-1787 Manumissions

Reynolds Family Papers

Manumission

1 Mar 1784

South Kingston

Document of manumission of a negro slave woman named Nab. A note added onto the back of the document indicates that Nab was one of the first slaves freed by act of the Rhode Island legislature. The act was passed on the last Monday of February 1784 and this document was signed on March 1, 1784.

Mss 9001-R Box 2

Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society

Letter/Minutes

13 Dec 1838, 20-22 Nov 1844

Providence

Letter to Oliver Johnson, the corresponding secretary of the society, from John Quincy Adams. In the letter, Adams discusses slavery's incongruity with a nation that extolls liberty among its highest values; Minutes to the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society.

Mss 664

Rhode Island Association for Freedman

Records

1864-1867

Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Association for Freedmen was formed in 1864 as a response to the needs of the emancipated slaves. Its services included temporary housing, the collection and distribution of clothing, food, sundry goods and a job training program. In the latter service the Association was occasionally successful in finding jobs in other states for those fortunate in acquiring marketable skills. In 1867, it merged with the New England Freedmen's Aid Society to form the New England Branch Freedmen's Union Commission. These records contain minutes, accounts, correspondence and other documents. See Finding aid for list/locations of documents.

Mss 677 Box 1, Folder 8: "Reminiscence of the South Side of Westminister Street"

Rhode Island Citizens Historical Association

Reminiscence

n.d.

Providence

"Reminiscence of the South Side of Westminister Street" by Elisha Dyer mentions a Snow St. resident, Scipio Brenton. "Snow Street had then a very extended reputation, as at the corner of Middle Street stood the residence of that Prince of Caterers, Scipio Brenton, and his somewhat numerous family of boys and girls."

Mss 677 Box 1, Vol. 1

Rhode Island Citizens Historical Association

Notes/Minutes

1883-1888

Providence

Pages 12-13- provides numbers of 155 women and 184 men blacks in Providence in 1768; page 26- newspaper clipping includes brief reminiscences of Cyrus Butler's servants (former slaves) Temp and Prince aka Primmy No Nose; page 47-newspaper clipping shows the number of blacks in each town in Rhode Island in 1755

Mss 9003 Vol. 2, page 43

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Lease

4 Jan 1737

Providence

Cuffe Numco, a laborer, leases land from Joshua Winsor adjacent to his own lot and house.

Mss 9003 Vol. 2, page 79

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Promissory Note

17 Oct 1748

Providence

Promissory note given by John Sprague to Bristo.

*Mss 9003 Vol 4, p. 138

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Payment

1776

Providence

Payment record for boarding of Providence hospital patients, names some blacks

Mss 9003 Vol. 18, p. 139

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Bill of Sale


Newport

Bill of sale from William Stevens for a "mustee Garl aged about fifteen months" to Mrs. Lydia Turner.

Mss 9003 Vol. 18, p. 76

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Inventory

1759

Exeter

Inventory of estate of Joseph Rathbun, includes "a negro man named Primos."

Mss 9003 Vol. 18, p. 97

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Receipt

4 Jan 1781

Johnston

Levi Ceasar receipt from Col. Daniel Manton wages for services as a soldier.

Mss 9003 Vol. 18, p. 97

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Receipt 

24 Feb 1781

Johnston

Jeremiah Ceasar autographed order assigning to John Waterman wages for service as a soldier.

Mss 9003 Vol. 2, p. 105

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts

Population Count

1768

Providence

Population count, shows 47 blacks residing in Providence (not a list)

E 186.3 R4 v. 51 Williams, Roger. An Affidavit by Roger Williams…" Society of Colonial Wars, Providence, 1976. Mss 9003 Vol. 10, p. 54

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Deposition

1682

Providence

1682 deposition by Roger Williams re his early dealings with the Narragansetts. This item has been completely transcribed and annotated in volume 51 of the publications of the Society of Colonial Wars in Rhode Island as “An Affidavit by Roger Williams in his Own Handwriting” (1976). The published version should be used rather than the original.

Mss 9003 Vol. 11, p. 97

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Deed of Sale

3 July 1744

Newport

Sale by Nicholas Carmer, a New York City mariner, to Samuel Freebody of Newport of "A certain negro man slave named St. Augua." [Possibly Santiago--born in Cuba?]

Mss 9003 Vol. 11, p. 98

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Auction Account

10 Jun 1745

Newport

Public auction of 4 mustees, l mulatto and 4 negroes. Document names the buyers as Peleg Brown, Benjamin Norton, Robert Morris, John McDaniel, Nathaniel Potter, Daniel Coggeshall, George Goulding, and William Mumford.

Mss 9003 Vol. 11, p. 98

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Bill of Sale

29 May 1747

Newport

Samuel Freebody's bill of sale for a "negro man named Quaman" to Capt. John Tillinghast and the owners of Brig. Defiance.

Mss 9003 Vol. 12, p. 12

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Census

1755

Rhode Island

"Account of the people...of Rhode Island, whites and blacks..." enumeration only, by town.

Mss 9003 Vol. 12, p. 3

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Bill of Sale

23Jun 1750

Providence

Sale of "one negro man named Sartur" from Solomon Drowne to Arthur Fenner.

Mss 9003 Vol. 12, p. 56

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Receipt

9 Aug 1764

Rhode Island

Nehemiah Ward's receipt given to Prince Miller for payment for a house. 

Mss 9003 Vol. 12, p. 61

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Report to Congress

1786

Rhode Island

Committee report in response to Congress order for a list of blacks carried away by the British from Rhode Island during the war. Provides names of 42, free men and slaves with their age, physical description, and some history. Most were taken from Newport in 1779.

Mss 9003 Vol. 16, p. 102

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Deposition

1 Jul 1786

Newport

Deposition of Col. George Irish in the case of Samuel Freebody vs. James Brattle concerning whippings inflicted upon Capt. Freebody's manservant Ben.

Mss 9003 Vol. 16, p. 96-100

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Papers

1758-1784

Newport

Samuel Freebody's papers (1758-1784) including a receipt for Quammani, Toney and Quarsheba (1758). Letters from his slave Benjamin Freebody whom he sent out on a slaving voyage in 1775 and who remained at sea in a privateer crew during the war. William Robinson's letter offering to sell Lucy, wife of Cudjoe Heathy of South Kingston and her son to Freebody (1784).

Mss 9003 Vol. 17, p. 89

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Indenture

10 Dec 1810

Providence

Apprenticeship of London Shoemaker as a servant and farmer to Ebenezer Knight Dexter by the Providence Town Council.

Mss 9003 Vol. 5, p. 43

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Deaths

23 Jan 1710

Providence

On reverse of a letter to John Whipple dated March 20, 1711 is a list of people that died in Providence after January 23, 1710. This list indicates 2 negor boys and an Indian man died, but they are not named.

Mss 9003 Vol. 7, p. 59

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Settlement

Feb-Nov 1781

Providence

"Statement of the settlement at the Treasury of the [pension] Claims of the following persons for services during the late war in the Rhode Island line of the Army." List included sixteen names, mostly men of color including Caesar Updike, Cato Greene, Jack Watson, Cuff Greene.

Mss 9003 Vol. 7, p. 69

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Correspondence

8 Oct 1792

Providence

In a letter from Andrew Boyd of East Greenwich to Daniel Cooke of Providence, Boyd writes about claim against George Holden, a black sailor.

Mss 9003 Vol. 9, p. 37

Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts 

Account

n.d. [c. 1756]

Rhode Island

Account between the owners of the sloop, Freelove , a slave ship bound for Africa with Joseph Wanton as the captain. 

Mss 527 Vol. 3, p. 360

Rhode Island Land Evidence

Ruling

27 May 1721

Rhode Island

Ruling that unidentified slaves shall be sold at public auction (19th century transcription).

Mss 9004 Vol 10, p. 81 (Oversize)

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Deed

6 Mar 1720

Providence

Deed from Providence Williams to Samuel Wilkinson

Mss 9004 Vol. 1, p. 57

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Manumission

11 May 1786

Providence

Repeats Ruth Hopkins document of manumission of her former slave Toney Hopkins.

Mss 9004 Vol. 10 Box 4, pages 81a & 81c, 82-84, 85 

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Accounts

1761-1770

Newport

Accounts and letter of Cesar Lyndon. Includes account with Neptune Sisson, a trip to Portsmouth with Boston Vose, Zingo Stevens Phylis Lyndon, Prince Thurston, Neptune Sisson & Wife, Sarah Searing. Marriage of Zingo Stevens and Phylis Lyndon by Rev. Edward Upham (June l5, 1770), Marriage of Cesar and Sarah Lyndon by Ezra Stiles, (October 6, 1767),and death of Susannah Lyndon (June 15, 1770) The birth of a daughter named Sarah to Phyllis [Lyndon] on June 16, 1769. Other individuals mentioned in the documents include Prince Richards, Primus Searing, Sarah Robinson "(an Indian Mulatto)". He also has an account with the merchant Aaron Lopez dated December 9, 1766.

Mss 9004 Vol. 10, p. 118

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Correspondence

1842

Providence

Alexander Crummel to William R. Staples answering questions Staples had posed regarding the history of the Christ Church Episcopal congregation. Christ Church was the first African-American Episcopal congregation in Rhode Island and they worshiped on Union Street in Providence, 1839 - 1851.

Mss 9004 Vol. 10, p. 143

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Census

Aug 1821

Providence

Census recap which includes blacks both free and slaves.

Mss 9004 Box 1 & 2, Vol. 5 

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Correspondence

1796

Providence

Includes the official correspondence received by David Leonard Barnes, the judge of the U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island, relates directly & indirectly to the slave trade.

Mss 9004 Box 3, Vol. 6, p. 35-39

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Correspondence

1797

Providence

Documents from the slave brig Louisa, 1797. Pages 35 and 36 are listings of slaves sold; the name of Captain Elisha Briggs was blotted out or cut out in several places by a 19th-century historical revisionist. 

Mss 9004 Box 3, Vol. 6, p. 41-48

Rhode Island Manuscripts

Correspondence

13 Nov 1792, 4 Dec 1792, 29 Dec 1792, 16 Jan 1793, 17 Jan 1793, 20 Jan 1793, 17 Dec 1793, 4 Feb 1793

Providence

Exchange of letters in which Ambrose Knox writes from North Carolina asking for the aid of David L. Barnes in retreiving runaway slaves at Taunton. Knox writes, "They say they saw more liberty in their master's kitchen than they have had or ever expect to find in New England." Also includes a list of expenses incurred by Knox while hunting slaves.

Mss 670 Loose Vol. 3, Printing Jobs 1809-1825

Rhode Island Republican 

Accounts

29 Mar 1809

Newport

Charges for advertising Enoch Crandall's mulatto runaway.

Mss 9001-R Loose Vol.

Rhode Island Society of Natural History

Size Roll

Sep 1782

Rhode Island

Includes size roll of 3rd co. of the “Black Regiment” in the Revolution.

Mss 231 sg 3 Series 1: General Assembly Box 3, Folder 15: Petitions Narragansett Indians, 1785

Rhode Island State Records Collection

Petition

Feb 1785

Rhode Island

Petition of the Narragansett Tribe in Charlestown, RI read to the General Assembly in February 1785 and referred to the June 1785 Session. Petition regarding land taken from indians and given to others while the original owners were away as soldiers in the Continental Service. Signed by 176 people; regarding disputes between indians and white and requesting the creation of a "Committee of your own Citizens investing them with full Power of hearing & determining all Disputes and Controversies that may arise between any of the Indians of the Narransett [sic] Tribe, among themselves, or with any of the Citizens of this State"

Mss 231 sg 3 Series 5: Courts, Box 6, Folder 6: Vice Admiralty Court

Rhode Island State Records Collection

Decree

4 Jul 1746

Rhode Island

Degree of Judge William Strengthfield. The ship St. Jacques commanded by [Branmonois?] La Motte of France was captured by Capt. Peter Marshall and Capt. Thomas Randall. In addition to the cargo “the Negroe taken on board the said ship named Peter was the property of the aforesaid La Motte and was to have been sold at Cape Francois the place the said ship was bound to but that the other Negro named Manuel was free. I therefore condemn the said ship together with all her cargo and save only the aforesaid Negro Manuel who appears to be free, as good and lawful prize.”

Records of the Vice-Admiralty Court of Rhode Island 1716-1752 edited by Dorothy S. Towle, American Historical Association, Washington, D.C. 1936, American Legal Records - Volume 3, pp377-380, Prince Frederick and Dolphin vs. St. Jacques. The entry for this case notes that the “Decree of condemnation is missing.” The case is found in the Admiralty Papers IV, 29, 34. The RIHS appears to have the original decree signed by William Strengthfield.

Mss 9001-R Box 4

Rhodes, Nahum

Account Book

1773-1774

Warwick

Debit and credit for Prince (November 12, 1774) and possibly others throughout the book.

Mss 32

Richard James Arnold Papers

Papers


Providence and Georgia

Papers of a Rhode Islander who bought a plantation in Bryan County, Georgia in 1823, and spent his winters there until his death in 1873. A full biography of Arnold was published in 1988: North by South: The Two Lives of Richard J. Arnold by Charles and Tess Hoffman (University of Georgia Press). The papers include frequent commentary on southern slave life.

Mss 32 Box 1, Folder: Letters, 1736-1838

Richard James Arnold Papers

Correspondence

21 Oct 1838

Providence and Georgia

Letter by a female slave who was working in Tallahassee, Florida. See the letter dated October 21 1838 from "your obedient servant Jenny" to "my Master." Comments on religion, sends greetings to "Mistress," also writes "Samson, George, Abram & Morris, remember to serve the Lord, you know you have to die, remember my love to the whole Plantation of People... Prince use me well." 

Mss 32 Box 1, Folder: Letters, 1841-1842

Richard James Arnold Papers

Correspondence

22 Aug 1841

Providence and Georgia

Another slave, Amos Morel, wrote from Savannah: in part: "I wants to beg you to get me a watch for about ten or twelve dollars... when you return I will settle with you... Mr. Harris has paid two months wages since you left." 

Mss 32 Box 1, Folder: Letters, 1843-1845

Richard James Arnold Papers

Correspondence

18 July 1843

Providence and Georgia

Morel writes: "Dear Master I have made up my mind to take a wife and partner for life and I would ask your consent. I have the consent of both the girl and her mistress. Mrs. Ward is the lady to whom she belongs, her name is Mary... If you would buy her she is a good house made and a very good seamstress. I have been employed by the Iron St. Bo Co about 2 weeks but I cannot tell how long it will last." 

Mss 32 Box 1, Folder: Letters, 1843-1845

Richard James Arnold Papers

Correspondence

29 Aug 1845

Providence and Georgia

Morel writes again from Savannah asking not to be sent back to plantation work: "if I was for to go out in the country I would have no chance whatever dear Master for to provide for myself and family... Cousin Sam is as capable of running the mill as I am." Adds that he is convinced his brother Tom did not steal money from Arnold. 

Mss 32 Box 1, Folder: Letters, 1850-1855

Richard James Arnold Papers

Correspondence

20 June 1852

Providence and Georgia

Morel wrote from Arnold's plantation, "I have had to break William of his drivership and have given him his hoe... [William] gets along very badly with his work on account of having too many favorits in the field. I have put big Peter in his place to drive... The carpenters are getting along very badly with their work, they have not got the flat house done as yet. I am satisfied that it would be to your interest to get some white person to take charge of the work... am fearful that the mill will not be repaired time enough to receive the rice." Other letters from Morel are dated 6/22/1852, 6/2/1853, 10/9/1853, 5/7/1854, 6/17/1854.

Mss 144 Series 5, Box 28, Folder 54: Asa Handay vs Comfort Wheaton, undated

Richard Ward Greene Papers

Case Records


Providence

Accounts of Asa Handy include charges to Comfort Wheaton for care by Cato and Betsey Clark.

Mss 144 Series 5, Box 21, Folder 39: Nathan Mathewson; will, 1834

Richard Ward Greene Papers

Will

1834

Providence

Nathan Mathewson in North Carolina, owner of substantial property in Providence, makes disposition of his slaves who are probably in North Carolina. 

Mss 144 Series 2, Box 3, Folder 5: 1834

Richard Ward Greene Papers

Correspondence

8 Aug 1834

Providence/Newport

George Turner to Greene concerning Benjamin G. Thompson of Newport, son of Susan and Charles. Thompson did not return home from voyage to Havana as a cook on the schooner Franklin Greene. Although the captain maintains that the boy ran away, his mother is sure he was kidnapped or sold.

Microfilm JX 5241 W32 Mss 789

Richard Waterman Family Papers

Transcripts 

1779

Providence

Transcripts of the logs contain a 9/1779 crew list from the sloop Providence including two blacks, Pompey Gardner, cook and Primus Green, seaman.

Microfilm JX 5241 W32 Mss 789 Box 1, Folder 22a

Richard Waterman Family Papers

Memorandum Book

1780

Providence

Contains accounts as physician with "Sampson Indian" and "Margaret Indian" for medical care, pages 75 & 83

Mss 215 Box 1, Folder 2-8 & Box 2, Folder 1-3: Return of a Death

Richmond Town Records Collection

Death Records

1877-1905

Richmond

Consists primarily of records pertaining to white people. There are quite a few "black", "copper", and "collard" people recorded as well. Dates of Death: 6/2/1877, 1/17/1880, 9/10/1879, 10/1880, 2/26/1881, 10/15/1881, 5/21/1885, 12/14/1886, 11/15/1887, 11/26/1887, 3/18/1888, 7/2/1888, 11/1/1888, 8/6/1891, 10/14/1891, 5/21/1894, 7/31/1894, 10/9/1894, 12/19/1894, 8/17/1897, 9/17/1898, 4/2/1899, 6/9/1899, 6/8/1900, 3/13/1900, 6/11/1901, 1/1/1903, 4/1/1903, 4/29/1903, 8/21/1903, 8/22/1903, 4/1/1904, 4/1/1904, (2)4/25/1904, 9/30/1904, 10/22/1904, 10/28/1904, 2/5/1905, 3/17/1905, 10/26/1905, 11/19/1905; 

Mss 215 Box 1, Folder 1: Return of a Birth, 1894

Richmond Town Records Collection

Birth Records

1894

Richmond

Dates of Birth: 12/7/1894, 4/23/1894, 11/27/1894

Mss 9001-R Box 5

Richmond, John Rogers

Indenture

1761


Apprenticeship indenture of Ephraim Pomham Frost, an indian boy, to John Rogers Richmond by his mother Mary Frost to learn no trade, 1761. 

Mss 1004 Box 2: Various Groups, Urban Task Force

Robert Hale Ives Goddard Jr. Papers

Papers

1970

Providence

Urban Task Force on the Administration of Justice, 1970: includes notes and reports from this committee studying police violence and racial tensions.

Mss 483 sg 2, Item #8: Last Will & Testament, Dec 2, 1745

Robert Hazard Papers

Will

2 Dec 1745

South Kingstown

In his will he makes bequest of "Phebee", "Judah" "Bill" and "Bristo."

Mss 421

Capt. Robert W. Foster Papers

Correspondence

1873


Letter from ship captain Robert W. Foster to Charles Briggs, complaining about two freedmen working as port wardens at New Orleans: "Moses Briggs a black man has been for the last four years a night watchman. (Ignorant as a goose.) Dajoie a black man is by trade a Baker and who for some length of time has served in that capacity on board River Steamers. (Still more ignorant. Both emerged from slavery and are semi-barbarous.)"

Mss 483 sg 5, Box 25, Folder 2

Rowland G. Hazard I Papers

Account

1836-1837

South Kingstown

Household account book listing wages paid to servants Mary Ann Hazard and Mary Niles, described as "of colour," 1836-1837 (page 37) and Sarah Sekatie, 1844 (page 65). 

Mss 483 sg 5

Rowland G. Hazard I Papers

Correspondence

1820s-1840s

South Kingstown

Extensive correspondence re sales of "Negro Cloth" for use by southern slaves. Hazard traveled extensively in the South during the 1820s, 1830s and 1840s, and his business sold "Negro cloth" to a primarily Southern market. The collection includes very frequent correspondence from Southern plantation owners negotiating purchases. Specific letters include one from William Brandon of Arcole Plantation, Mississippi (later a Confederate general), 1/22/1844, a Southern planter: "I lost a very valuable negro and a great deal of labor by sickness by not receiving my winter clothing in time." Also from James Elder, plantation owner, Charleston, S.C. Letter, 11/13/1839: "I am sorry the Negro Clothing did not please me, I am always anxious thay should be well clothed."

Mss 483 sg 5, Box 24, Folders 80-82

Rowland G. Hazard I Papers

Papers

1840-1841

South Kingstown

Hazard's interventions on behalf of several illegally enslaved black free men in New Orleans, 1840-1841. Contains newspaper clippings, Hazard's notes on individual cases, and six letters relating to the cases. Three of the letters are from illegally enslaved African-Americans: one from Rufus Kinsman dated June 18 1841, and two from Charles Delisle, April 1 and April 10 1841. 

Mss 483 sg 4, Box 1, Folder 23

Rowland Hazard I Papers

Account Book

1807-1809, 1810, 1810-1812

South Kingstown

Pocket book No. 1 (A23-6), 1807-1809, accounts with Betty (Black Girl) (1807), Abraham...black boy (1808-1809), wife of Cuddy (1808) and Cuddy Marks (1808-1809); Account Book No. 2 (A23-15), 1810, accounts with Cuddy Marks; Pocket Account book (A23-1), 1810-1812: accounts with Cuddy Marks (1810, 1811), Ruth & Cato Brown (1810), Hannah Cuddimunco (1812)

Mss 9001-S Box 1

Samuel

Documents

17 Jul 1670

Portsmouth

Two documents (record of coroner's inquest, and verdict signed by jury) in the case of the Indian Samuel found dead in the well of Anthony Emry at Portsmouth, July 17 1670. 

Mss 588 sg 2, Box 2, Folder 4: 1774-1778

Samuel Nightingale II Papers

Correspondence

21 Apr 1777

North Providence

His father writes remarking that Samuel Jr. has bought a negro man of Benjamin Greene and urges him to buy more for farm labor.

Mss 588 sg 3, Box 5, Folder 15: 1833-1836

Samuel Nightingale III Papers

Correspondence

7 Feb 1836

Florida

Letter from Edwin T. Jenckes to Samuel Nightingale III giving an account of the depredations of the Indians during the Seminole War, counter measures, etc. dated Camp Long Reach, FL.

Mss 9001-S Box 1

Sanford, Jack

Manumission

1 Mar 1781

Westerly

Act of manumission to Jack by Elisha Sanford, a Newport ship carpenter.

Mss 9001-S Box 3

Scott, John

Manumission/Deed

1770, 4 Apr 1783

Providence

A copy of John Scott's manumission of Pompey, 1770; deed for sale of a house and lot to Brister Olney, carefully located as "number twelve, on the right of Roger Mowry", 4 Apr 1783

Mss 9001-S Box 5

Sheldon, Christopher

Accounts

1771-1776

Providence

Nathan Angell's accounts with estate of Christopher Sheldon (1771-1776) includes man "Negroe Colett" who may be same named in Gideon's Manchester's 1769 inventory. Another account with estate (1802) names "John Wallace (Negro)."

Mss 9001-S Box 5

Sheldon, George

Crew List

Mar 1818

Cranston

Papers of Brigatine Hector of Providence on a voyage to Charlestown, SC, France and India. The crew list includes Thomas Butter, a free black from Providence.

Mss 9006 Vol. 3, pages 68 & 70

Shepley Collection

Bills

1770, 1771

Newport

Portage bills for the sloop Adventure includes Prince Miller. 

Mss 9006 Vol. 3, page 76

Shepley Collection

Memo

c. 1785

Newport

Memo of wages lists the crew for Brig Bayonne including Prince Gardner.

Mss 9006 Vol. 6, page 112

Shepley Collection

Petition

14 Dec 1792

Charlestown

Petition of Harry Niles to the Honble. Committee Appointed to Settle Indian Affairs in Charlestown requesting land on the basis that his mother was "one of the Tribe of Indians."

Mss 9006 Vol. 6, page 112

Shepley Collection

Bill

15 Oct 1810

Charlestown

Bill from Lodowick Paul against the estate of Harry Hazard for the boarding of his child.

Mss 9006 Vol. 7, pages 31, 32, 34, 37, 38, 44, 72-76

Shepley Collection

Papers

1842-1850

Charlestown

Papers of the committee consisting of the Charlestown Indian Council and Robert Hazard appointed to settle land disputes and petitions.

Mss 9006 Vol. 9, pages 31-42

Shepley Collection

Papers

1708-1835

Charlestown

Original manuscript and copies relating to the sale of tribal lands, regulations, and lawsuits.

For example, p. 34 is an indenture of lease between Sarah Niles, an Indian woman and Jacob Perry, a mulatto man (March 18, 1808). Other papers relate to suit of Moses Stanton vs. James Kenyon, 1835.

Mss 9006 Vol. 10, page 153

Shepley Collection

Deed 

11 Apr 1789

Providence

Deed from Santealger Hopkins, free negro, to Elizabeth Arnold, widow, for half a house in Providence owned in common with Bonno Brown, a free negro.

Mss 9006 Vol. 13, page 141

Shepley Collection

Petition

Mar 1789

Providence

Continental Army soldier Plato McClellan signs his petition to the Rhode Island Assembly for relief for a disability incurred in service

Mss 9006 Vol. 15, page 19

Shepley Collection

Indenture

5 Dec 1723

Jamestown

George Greene contracts to George Mumford the services of his slave Hannah aged one year and six months, who is "half Indian and Half Negro," for a term of nineteen and a half years.

Mss 9006 Vol. 15, page 39

Shepley Collection

Agreement

13 Mar 1730

North Kingstown

An agreement between Daniel Updike of Newport and Israel Phillips of North Kingstown for a joint operation of a farm in North Kingstown. Updike will provide two "good negroes" or other hands to work on the land.

Mss 9006 Box 8, Vol. 11, p. 1

Shepley Collection

Bill of Sale

4 May 1769

Smithfield

Bill of sale of "One Negro Man Slave called Cesar" from Luke Arnold of Smithfield to Oliver Arnold of Providence.

*Mss 9006

Shepley Collection

Bill

26 Sep 1814

Charlestown

Narraganset Indian Council, Bill of Indian Council for Hannah Phillips to Robert Hazard. For rent of land.

Mss 9006 Vol. 15, page 73

Shepley Collection

Accounts

n.d. [c. 1756]

Rhode Island

One page of accounts with no date contains the note, "the within act. I supose was Capt. Benjamin Remington's of Jamestown, R.I. while on a voyage to the coast of Affrica for slaves."

Mss 9001-S Box 5, Folder 1: 1863-1864, Folder 2: 1865-1866, Folder 3: Reminiscences, Printed, etc

Sherman, George R.

Papers

1863-1866

Rhode Island

Sherman was a white captain of the Third Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops, 1863-1866. His papers include orders, letters, and reminiscences.

Microfilm E 445 .R4, Part 2, Reel 28 Mss 828 Box 12, Folder 2

Ships' Logs Collection

Log Book

1795-1797

Africa; St. Thomas

Includes log of slave ship Dolphin. This diary kept by an unknown seaman from 1795 to 1797 is one of the few known surviving accounts of a slaving voyage, which seems to have been a failure. The crew initially set out in the ship Dolphin, changed over to the sloop Rising Sun in St. Thomas, and upon reaching Africa quickly took on 21 slaves (see 10/23/1795 entry). The ship then suffered serious damage in a tornado, and sat at an island for almost a year attempting repairs while the captain traveled to the mainland attempting to procure more slaves. During this period, two slaves were whipped for plotting to poison the crew's rice (9/4/1796). The Rising Sun was eventually pronounced unfit for sailing, and the diarist joined on with the crew of a Boston-bound sloop Fame to begin his journey home. Two slave revolts on other ships are described through hearsay: the ship Liberty (11/21/1795) and a New York ship on which Capt. Moore and his crew were all massacred (7/11/1796). 

Microfilm VB 260 .A5 1976, Reel 1 Frames 64-116 Mss 828 Box 1, Folder 2: Preservation Photocopy

Ships' Logs Collection

Log Book

July 1798 - June 1799

Providence; Orient

Log book of the Ann & Hope, 1798-99: Starboard watch (second to last page of log) included "Anthony Knowles (black)."

Mss 828 Box 13, Folder 2

Ships' Logs Collection

Log Book

1836-1837

New York, NY; Apalachicola, FL; Tampa, FL

Log of the schooner Pilot, John F. Phillips captain on a trip from New York to Florida during the time of the Seminole War in Florida, 1836-1837.

Mss 924 Book 2, Account Book, 1788-1803

Simeon Borden Accounts

Account Book

1795

Freetown

Borden credits Joseph Read with "half your black boy's voyage a whaling."

Mss 718 Box 2, Folder: Simmons, Sylvester- 1800-1805

Simmons Family Papers

Agreement

4 Apr 1800

Providence

Individual crew members, including Newport Troop, signed agreements for sealing/trading voyage to China

Mss 9001-S Box 6

Simon, John

Indenture

22 Jun 1751

Tiverton

Apprenticeship indenture of "Indian boy" of Tiverton, son of Naomy Zekil, to house carpenter Gideon Gifford of Dartmouth, Mass. for fourteen years. Mentions his "father-in-law" (step-father?) Isaac Zekil. Pledges, among other things, that he "shall not commit fornication nor contract matrimony within ye sd term; cards, dice or any other unlawful games he shall not play...nor haunt ale houses, taverns or play houses."

Mss 145 Series 3 Loose Vol. 2: Records, 1743-1831

Six Principle Baptist Church Records

Church Record

1743-1831

East Greenwich

Members include:

June 1743... Quasey molatto woman [no. ]35 Dead..

March 14th 1756..Mingo Negro [no. ]56 Dead...

Augt. 2nd. 1761 Seezer Sweet Negro [no. ]60 Dead..

Augt. 21st 1763 Patience Sambow [no. ]75 Dead [race?]...

March 10 [1783] Expearence Negro Dead

July 24 1808 Mary Barnes of Coler...

Joining from Warwick:

October 18th 1753...Hager Green negro...Mary Fuller Indian

Mss 9001-S Box 9

Smith, Sandford

Memoirs

1781


Includes copy of memoirs of Capt. Stephen Olney of the famous “Black Regiment” in the Revolution, 1781.

Mss 723 Box 2, Folder 18: Nelson Viall

Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society

Narrative

20 Oct 1891

Rhode Island

History of "the Fourteenth RI Heavy Artillery (colored)", 1863-1865 by Nelson Viall.

Mss 218 Box 1, Folder 33: Overseer of the Poor

South Kingstown Town Records Collection

List

2 Jun 1818

South Kingstown

List of people who are in the care of James Knowles including William Gardner, Pero Shearman, Dinah Watson, Patience Brown, and Sophia Brown. A brief description including age and medical condition is given for each person.

Mss 9001-S Box 11

Spencer, Julius

Accounts

1799

Providence

Spencer's accounts as a sailor which are settled by John Waterman and "Cola, Cuff's wife."

Mss 9001-S Box 11

Spiwood, Jeremiah

Indenture

6 Feb 1731/2

Warwick

Apprenticeship indenture of Jeremiah Spiwood and "his wife Betsy Brown so called" to Amos and Mary Stafford, February 6 1731/2.

Mss 9001-S Box 1

St. John's Guild

Records

1879-1881

Providence

Records, 1879-1881, of the Visiting Society of St. John's Episcopal Church in Providence. Includes detailed descriptions of repeated visits to the following seven persons listed as "colored", and presumably poor and elderly: Isaac Bowen, Miss Martha Bowen, Miss Eunice Jackson, Mrs. Louisa Johnson, Mrs. M.A. Malbone, Mrs. Jane A. Smith, Mrs. Lucy Waterman. See Finding Aid for detailed list of individual documentsas well as transcriptions of these visits.

Mss 9001-S Box 13, Folder 1: 1709

Staples, William Read

Correspondence

n.d.

Providence

Letter from R. Parker relating the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1838. Names the first minister, Rev. N.C.W. Cannon and the church's 15 founders.

Mss 9001-S Box 13, Folder 2: of Providence

Staples, William Read

Correspondence

15 Feb 1842

Providence

Letter from Samuel Rodman outlining the history of the Second Freewill Church, originally the Abyssinian Freewill Church.

Mss 75 Series 2: Estate Records Box 1, Folder 15: Loose Records, 1824-1826

Stephen Arnold Papers

Bill 

6 July 1824

East Greenwich

Stephen Arnold Estate. Receipted bill July 6, 1824 from J. Miller includes "pair of shoes for your black woman."

Mss 75 Series 3: Financial Records Box 2, Folder 7: 1820

Stephen Arnold Papers

Accounts

Jan 1820

East Greenwich

Accounts with Howland Greene settled in 1820 include charge for passage on brigatine Lydia and Margaret of Perry Greene Arnold's "black boy" accompanying Sarah Arnold from East Greenwich to Tiverton and back in 1817.

Mss 75 Series 3 Financial Records Box 2, Folder 15: Labor Account Book, 1805-1821

Stephen Arnold Papers

Labor Accounts

1805-1821

East Greenwich

Pay to farm laborers including Cuf Spencer and Jack Gardiner.

Mss 75 Series 3 Financial Records Box 2, Folder 16: Labor Account Book, 1823

Stephen Arnold Papers

Labor Accounts

1823

East Greenwich

Ledger account with Rachel Budlong, "a colerd woman."

Mss 75 Series 3 Financial Records Box 2, Folder 18: Account Records, 1816-1822

Stephen Arnold Papers

Labor Accounts

1816-1822

East Greenwich

Wharf book includes record of payments to Jack Gardner, Nat Moore and others. 

*Mss 75

Stephen Arnold Papers

Estate Inventory

1734???

East Greenwich

Inventory of his estate includes "one negro girl"

Mss 492 Loose Vol. Account Book, 1747-1757

Stephen Hopkins Collection

Account Book

1746-1757

Providence

Account book includes payments to unnamed for shipyard labor, accounts with Fortune Wyat (August 25,1749), Primus Staring (1755), Ceazer Sambo (1755), Ann Ceazar for billeting Isaac Ames (June 27,1755), Mercy Cheese for her deceased husband, Thomas Cheese (1757), and payment in full for Fransisco's 1756 account (1757).

Mss 739 Box 2: 1811-1916, Diary

Stillwell Papers

Diary

1 Nov 1847

Providence

Diary of Albert G. Stillwell (1820-1887). Entry for November 1, 1847: "Went to see a large Chinese junk this afternoon aboard of which are some Chinese dressed in the original costume. Hair braided and extending nearly to the ground."

Mss 9001-S Box 15

Sweet, Jeremiah

Will

2 Jul 1731

Warwick

His last will and testament names "my negro woman...Sarah" whom he leaves to his niece, Elizabeth Hunt (daughter of Ezekiel).

Mss 424 Loose Vol. 16

Theodore Foster Papers

Tax List

1778

Providence

Pages 1-6. 1778 tax list of Providence includes number of slaves owned (slaves are not individually named)

Mss 424 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 23: Principles of Law, p. 37

Theodore Foster Papers

Notes

c. 1770

Providence

Theodore Foster studied law as a young man and became a lawyer. This volume contains the notes he made during his studies. Most of the volume is examples of different types of legal documents. Page 37 contains a sample document that he titled "Declaration in Case for Warrenty of a Negro." It involves a negro boy offered for sale and advertised as being free of disease. However, the boy did have "a secrect and dangerous disease called the yaws" which caused his death after the sale was completed to his new master. It appears to be a copy from an actual case but identifying information was intentionally changed by Foster in his copy.

Mss 424 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 1: Vol. 9, p. 309-312

Theodore Foster Papers

Notes

1800

Providence

Copied extracts created by Foster in 1800 from the "Case of Connecticut and Mohegan Indians" which includes a genealogy and lineage of Uncas, "Sachem of Moheag" as declared by him in 1692, the testimony of Thomas Stanton from 1738, and testimony of Mr. Bolan in 1743.

Mss 424 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 1: Vol. 9, p. 77

Theodore Foster Papers

Notes

1730-1791

Providence

Notes relating to the history of Rhode Island, 1730-1791 , "Numbers of the inhabitants of the State at different periods" Broken down by year, county, and ethnicity (white, black, and Indian).

Mss 424 Series 1, Box 2, Folder 2, Vol. 12

Theodore Foster Papers

Notes

1784

Providence

Volume contains a history and description of Kentucky by an unknown author in 1784. The notes include mileage tables for the distance between Philadelphia and various points along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. One of the places on the list is the "Village of the Alabama Indians" which was 1,770 miles by boat down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh and 60 miles north of New Orleans.

Mss 424 Series 2, Box 5, Folder 4: Diary 1795

Theodore Foster Papers

Diary 

Aug 1795

Providence

"Mr. Stephen Tillinghast and Daughter Theodosia Their son George, [Mr. Norse?] Mrs. Boldwen and the Negro Boy John arrived at my House this day from New York."

Mss 483 sg 3 Item # 3 Double Oversize Folder

Thomas "College Tom" Hazard Papers

Receipt

28 May 1762

South Kingstown

Receipt 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.

Mss 483 sg 3 Item # 15 Double Oversize Folder

Thomas "College Tom" Hazard Papers

Correspondence

15 May 1780

South Kingstown

From John Pemberton at Philadelphia asks Hazard to assist his former servant, Primus who was to have been manumitted. 

Mss 483 sg 3 Item # 21 Double Oversize Folder

Thomas "College Tom" Hazard Papers

Lease

25 Mar 1794

South Kingstown

Lease to Thomas Gould of rights to house and garden.

Mss 483 sg 3 Item # 24 Double Oversize Folder

Thomas "College Tom" Hazard Papers

Agreement

1 Apr 1789

South Kingstown

Agreement with Jack Sanford for farm labor.

Mss 1026 Folder 12: 1802

Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

Will

1802

Newport

Last will and testament of daughter Ruth Hazard, 1802, granting various articles to persons named Newport, Rose, Nam, Gin, Cato, Philes (Phyllis?), Ammy, and Anne.

Mss 1026 Folder 14: Legal Documents

Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

Deed of Sale

29 Dec 1791

Newport

Two deeds of sale dated 12/29/1791, to Hazard from the town council of Jamestown for "a certain Negro boy named Newport Martin now the property of Rebeckah Martin" and "a certain Negro woman named Bettey Martin now the property of Rebeckah Martin." 

Mss 1026 Folder 14: Legal Documents

Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

Bond

1810

Newport

1810 bond from Joseph Stanton Jr. to the "Committee for Settling and Adjusting the Business of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians", as treasurer of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians. 

Mss 1026 Folder 14: Legal Documents

Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

Deed of Sale

29 June 1764

Newport

Deed of sale of an "one Negro woman nam'd Jenny one negro boy name'd Step" to him by Stephen Franklin of New Shoreham, 1764. 

Mss 1026 Folder 16: (receipts, etc)

Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

Bill

1792-1804

Newport

Bill submitted for "Expense as one of the Indian Committee", listing expenses from 1792 to 1804, mostly for travel back and forth to Charlestown.

Mss 483 sg 3 Loose Vol. Account Book, 1751-1781

Thomas Hazard III Papers

Account

1750-1781

South Kingstown

Settles accounts with Dr. Joseph Torry for labor of his man, Cuff (p. 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).

Mss 170 Folder 4: Deeds, 1800-1820

Thomas Lloyd Halsey Papers 

Deed

28 Apr 1807

Providence

Ezekiel Burr to Halsey to deed a lot in "the northerly part" of Providence, gives in its legal description as a reference point "land in the occupation of Bonner Brown and Benjamin Marshall" with no indication of ownership.

Mss 483 sg 14 Series 1, Box 1, Folder 4: 1853

Thomas R Hazard Papers

Correspondence

1853

South Kingstown

Correspondence with John H.B. Latrobe of Baltimore, re recolonization of slaves in Africa.

Mss 483 sg 14 Series 2, SubSeries 1, Loose Vol. 3 Factory Day Book 1825-1828

Thomas R Hazard Papers

Day Book

1825-1828

South Kingstown

Payments to weavers Richard Watson (p. 34, 62, 108) and Brenton W. Hazard (p. 47, 121) (both noted as black), 1826-1827. 

Mss 680 Box 1, p. 16-20

Thomas Rice Papers

Deposition

Feb 1741-1744

Warwick

Depositions from John Hunt, Thankfull Collens, Job Warner and others, inquiring into the injury and death of Captain John Rice's servant, Sharper.

Mss 680 Box 2, p. 28

Thomas Rice Papers

Correspondence

20 Aug 1744

Providence

Note from Ellin Coker asking for 40 pounds for sale of a negro boy to Thomas Rice.

Mss 712 Series 1 Box 2, Folder 10: 1804

Thomas Sessions Family Papers

Receipt

15 Sep 1804

Providence

Bill to Thomas Sessions from Jack and Sam Caesar for building a wall.

Mss 755 Vol. 1: Daybook, 1797-1805

Thomas Tillinghast Jr. Papers

Day Book

1797-1805

East Greenwich

Daybook with accounts of retail sales and medical services, includes several blacks: Eunice Updike, Jack Ayrault, Jack Gardner (mason), Simeon Simmons, Stephen, Samuel Rynolds and wife, Port Hall and child, Ichabod Northop, and Winsor Fry.

Mss 755 Vol. 2: Ledger, 1795-1825

Thomas Tillinghast Jr. Papers

Accounts 

1795-1825

East Greenwich

Ledger settles account for treatment of Job Sambo (p.35), wife and children (1806-1814), Cato Sweet (mulatto) and wife (1815-1825) and Simon Bliss (mulatto) wife and children (1817).

Mss 391 Folder 12: Scrapbook (keeper unknown) 1842-1843

Thomas W. Dorr Collection

Scrapbook

1842-1843


Newspaper clipping, opinion piece on "one or two communications addressed to the COLORED VOTERS" printed in The Express, n.d.

Mss 391 Folder 16: Fragment of Pro-Dorr Poetry, Anonymous

Thomas W. Dorr Collection

Poetry



Anonymous fragment of pro-Dorr Rebellion poetry, apparently written circa 1842-1844. Describes an incident in which "the African captain who fought like a mad man / With Jesse and Whipple and the Dedaw Cashier / Being hard sider merry surprised Uncle Jerry / and ransacked house without favor or fear."

Microfilm E445 R4 Part 2 Reels 28-29 Mss 757 Vol. 2, Box 3

Tillinghast Papers

Accounts

Oct 1799

Providence

Accounts with Prince Dimmick for pine (p.84).

Microfilm E445 R4 Part 2 Reels 28-29 Mss 757 Vol. 4, Box 6

Tillinghast Papers

Accounts

n.d.

Providence

Accounts of payment between Jonathan Tillinghast and Prince "for trucking" (p. 251).

Mss 219 Folder 9

Tiverton Town Records Collection

Resolution

1784

Tiverton

Includes resolution by town's Meeting of Freemen to oppose the state manumission act, 1784.

Mss 9001-T Loose Vol.

Trader's Book: Commerce

Trader's Book

1809

Brazil

This mysterious volume contains fascinating commentary on trade in Europe, Asia and South America. It was apparently compiled by a veteran supercargo and is full of details about market conditions, regional trading practices and diplomatic pitfalls. There are sample lists of cargoes that could be expected to trade well in the various ports, as well as tables of prices current. Ex: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 1809 p.100 "Slaves for Men or Women, are valued at 400 to 700 rs. pair & pay 24 per% is from 12 to 21 Cents a pair"; Bahia, Brazil June 1809 p.168 "The principal trade however of Bahia, appears to be the African Slave Trade, at this moment, as there are not less than 9000 new Slaves annually imported into that place..."

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

25 Mar 1836, 1853

Providence

Seamen's protection issued in March 25, 1836 for mulatto Jacob Williams, age 17 and in 1853 issue protection for Jacob Holden, age 35 born in Providence

Mss 28 sg 2, Box 4, Folder Seaman's Protections, 1809

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

1809

Bristol

Primus Clark certifies the birth of Galampies Leonard on November 5, 1786 in Dighton, MA

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Abstract of Protections

Jun 1842

Providence

Identifies John H. Howland born 1827 "yellow" complexion, born in Providence

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

1852


Identifies George R. Davis born in Charlestown, RI in 1811

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

1836


Marcus D'Wolf born in Charlestown on September 8, 1820, sworn by Moses Arnold

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

6 Jun 1845

Newport

Identifies John B. Franklin, Jr. born 1831 in Newport protection issued.

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

31 Jul 1804

Bristol

List of schooner Betsey identifies Bristol William Johnson as born in New York but of French nationality

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

1804

Bristol

Return of brigatine Jane identifies John Barney, negro born Cape Verde 1776, resident of Bristol as a crew member

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

25 Sep 1799

Rehoboth, MA

Seamen's protectorate for David Kennedy born in Rehoboth, age 19

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

1844

South Kingston

James Hazard, born in South Kingston born in August 10, 1822, approximately 5'7 1/2'' missing "great toe of left foot"

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Seamen's Protection

6 Jan 1853

Warwick

Abstract of Protections, identifies Thomas Ponfit? (Profit?) born 1830

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

14 Jul 1804

Warwick

List for ship Fame, voyage to London, concluded at Providence. Includes Samuel Lippitt, age 20, five foot nine and a half, born in America

Mss 28 sg 2, Box 2, Folder Seaman's Protections, 1804

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Certificate 

1804

Bristol

Jemima Gorham of Bristol certifies the birth of Primus Clark of Bristol on approximately May 10, 1781, is 5'5'' and marked with small pox scars

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

10 Aug 1804


Crew list for ship Juno bound for the North west coast under John D'Wolf, includes Providence residents born in stonington, James Wheeler (age 21), and Jason Hanson (age 26)

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

Jul 1831

Warren

List of Whale ship Benjamin Rush is Mary Ann Drogly of Warren a fifteen year old mulatto born in Mexico.

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Crew List

Jun 1819

Bristol

Crew list of Brigantine Friendship, returning into port, identifies John D'Wolf, born in Africa, resident of Bristol, a black man, aged 24

Mss 28 sg 2 

U.S. Custom House Papers, Bristol/Warren

Abstract of Protections

25 Nov 1854

Barrington

Abstract includes Oliver Allen, black, from Barrington

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

12 Apr 1808

Newport

Protectorate for Aaron James age 36 from Newport

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

17 Sep 1803

Richmond

Seamen's protectorate lists George Larkin, born in Richmond, age 24

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

1789-19--

Rhode Island

Licensing of seamen on ships. Lists date of certificate, number, name of seaman, age, physical description, place of birth and means by which citizenship was acquired. Many African-Americans listed.

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

1 Nov 1837

South Kingston

Edward Johnson age 31, born in South Kingston is registed in the Seamen's Protectorate

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

27 Oct 1801

East Greenwich

Register of Benjamin Lymas, age 18 of East Greenwich

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

17 Dec 1799

East Greenwich

Register of Walter Lippitt, age 16 of Greenwich

Mss 28 sg 1, Vol. 1, page 35

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

1787

North Providence

Lists Thomas Jacobs, born in North Providence in 1787

Mss 28 sg 1, Series 13, Subseries A, Box 6, Folder 136

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Crew List

1826-1829

Providence

Lists show many names of blacks

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Seamen's Protection

1796-1849

Warwick

Seaman's protectorates these men born in Warwick: Andrew Lipptt, age 18 (Dec. 7, 1796), Affrica Lipptt (mulatto), age 19 (Nov. 30, 1803, July 19, 1802), Cesar Lippitt, age 18 (January 2, 1800), Seasar Lippitt, age 20 (May 30, 1803), Caesar Lippitt, age 23 (Dec. 25, 1805) age 33 (Novemeber 25, 1817), George Lippitt, age l5 (March 17, 1819), age 2l (April 2l, 1835), George G. Lippitt, age 29 (March 17, 1827), Jeremiah Lippitt, age 17 (May 18, 1807), age 19 (October 13, 1827), age 35 (January 9, 1845-listed birth in Providence), Joseph Lippitt, age l4 (November 20, 1800), Joseph Lippitt, age 18 (May 30, 1803), age 26 (November 28m, 1825), Joseph W. Lippitt, age 27 (December 19, 1849), Juba Lippitt, age 16 (June 16, 1804), Samuel Lippitt, age 16 (November 19, 1800), age 20 (December 9, 1817), Simon Lippitt, age 24 (June l, 1820), Stephen Lippitt, age 16, (April 2l, 1835)

Mss 28 sg 1

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Accounts

Jun 1836

Providence

Accounts and vouchers of the collector show a payment to Scipio Brenton for washing windows and cleaning rooms

Mss 28 sg 1, Series 2, Vol. 4

U.S. Custom House Papers, Providence

Records

1822-1827

Providence

Entries and clearances list of ships coming into and leaving the port of Providence. Starting in 1822 notations for slaves appear in the left hand column of the listing. They are apparently noting when slaves are on board the vessel. Examples include: July 15, 1822 Ship Rising States, Captain Pearce from Savannah; July 22, 1822 Brig James Monroe, Captain Rhodes from Charleston; June 5, 1826 Sloop Young James, Captain Hall from Savannah; June 4, 1827 Ship Rising States, Captain Pearce from Savannah; July 28, 1827 Ship Rising States, Captain Pearce from Savannah 

Mss 770 Box 1, p.44

Updike Papers 

Obituary

c. 1815

North Kingstown

Wilkins Updike's obituary of Sylvia Torry, an African woman who died at the age of 115

Mss 770 Box 1, p.13

Updike Papers 

Notes/Statement

c.1780, 1843

North Kingstown

Notes of William Kenyon's Reminiscenses- about Indian history, c. 1780; statement made by Mr. Kenyon to Wilkins Updike, 1842

Mss 770 Box 1, p.18

Updike Papers 

Notes

c.1728-1731

North Kingstown

Notes on Smibert & Dean Berkeley, Smibert was a portrait painter who accompanied Dean Berkeley. He thought that the Narragansett Indians were the same people as the Siberian Tartars.

Mss 770 Box 2, p.57

Updike Papers 

Narrative

17 Nov 1677

North Kingstown

Roger Williams' answer to the declatation of William Harris "before the court of commissioners Nov 17, 1677…copies from the Harris papers lent me." - accuses Roger Williams of mishandling lands in & around Providence. Williams lists the reasons why he was especially suited to deal with the Indians over land, for example: "God was pleased to give me a painful patient spirit to lodge with them in their filthy smoky holes...to gain thier tongue."

Mss 770 Box 2, p. 58

Updike Papers 

Ariticle

30 July 1789

North Kingstown

From the "United States Chronicle", presented at Providence - account by Solomon Drown of the affairs of the Ohio Company, and generally about the Ohio & Muskingum country, and the Indians, a note of the name Muskingum.

Mss 770 Box 2, p.76

Updike Papers 

Notes

n.d.

North Kingstown

Note on Richard Smith: apparently extracted from "Present State of Indians in New England", by Drake, pp.30-31; events of the fall and winter of 1675; dealings with Indians.

Mss 770 Box 4: Papers, 1673-1804, p. 98

Updike Papers 

Tax List

14 Jul 1798

North Kingstown

R.I. Tax List, copy made, 2 Aug 1800: identifies "Heirs of Dominy Smith (negro)", James Prinson, Jack Phillips, and Fortune Congdon.

Mss 770 Box 4: Papers, 1673-1804, p. 90

Updike Papers 

Plat Map

30 Dec 1795

Town Unknown

Plat map of the line between the land of Nathan Kinyon and the "Indian Cedar Swamp", presumably in Charlestown, prepared by Robert Stanton, and marked on the reverse "Plat for Indian Counsel."

Mss 770 Box 14, Wills and Documents, 1664-1867, p.15

Updike Papers 

Inventory

1737


"An Inventory of the Personal Estate of Daniel Updike Esq. late of North Kingstown Deceased taken and apprised by us the Subscribers the 1st Day of June A.D. 1757." At the top of the third page starts the listing of the negros he owned and their value in pounds. "Nathaniel valued at nothing, Chance - 300, Moses - 600, Joseph - 600, Dimas - 600, Newport - 500, Dublin - 600, Mingo - 450, Claro - 400, James - 400, Casar - 200, Domini at nothing, Paul 2 years old - 100, Prince - 50, Sue - 400, Lille and Child - 500, Bridget - 250, Robie 2 1/2 years old - 100." 

Mss 9001-W Box 1

Walker, William

Receipt

1819-1851

Newport

Note to Peleg Brown for "a negro man named Pompy."

Mss 9001-W Box 1

Wall, Samuel

Census

May 1777

Coventry

Account book records his military census including the names of William Sharp, Finneas Curvin, William Kirk, and James Fenner, Indian.

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 38: SWI July - Oct 1774 Correspondence

Ward Family Papers

Correspondence

9 Sep 1774

Newport

Samuel Ward writes to his children from Philadelphia, "Cajoe had some Complaints yesterday like the Small Pox but he is much better this day that We think it was only a cold or Fatigue."

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 46: SWI Deeds, Agreements 1755-1776

Ward Family Papers

Inventory

26 Oct 1767

Newport

Inventory of Mary Ward estate which names "a negro man named Cudjoe" and Marcy who is "very old and must be maintained out of the estate."

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 46: SWI Deeds, Agreements 1755-1776

Ward Family Papers

Deed

14 Jan 1768

Newport

Deed for Cudjo to Samuel Ward of Westerly from Isabel Marchand of Newport.

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 46: SWI Deeds, Agreements 1755-1776

Ward Family Papers

Indenture

30 Dec 1762

Newport

Between Gov. Samuel Ward and Abigail an Indian woman, late of New Shorham in said county, spinster, and Jack her son an infant- binding Jack as apprentice to Samuel Ward for 10 years.

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 46: SWI Deeds, Agreements 1755-1776

Ward Family Papers

Bill of Sale

1771

Newport

Sale of Philis (a Negro woman slave named Philis aged about thirty three years) from Elizabeth Babcock of Hopkington to Samuel Ward of Westerly.

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 49: SWI Financial Papers 1744-1775

Ward Family Papers

Receipt

20 May 1745

Newport

Rec'd of Samuel Ward, debt due from his Indian Fellow Jack Sawness, to Elisha Reynolds.

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 51: SWI Ledger (indexed), 1753-1763

Ward Family Papers

Account book

1753-1763

Westerly

Records include accounts with Sam Hilli Negroe p14; molatto James p14; Mary Sock p 22; Annon Negroe p.24; Hannah Paul Indian p25; Negroe Will Jr p35; Ambrose (a Molatto) p58; Jehu (Negroe Will's son) p63; Jonathan (son of Negroe Will) p92; Dick (a mulatto of Block Island) p106; Indian Sock p120; Negroe Will p121; William Smith Negroe p130; Tom (Mr. Littlefield's Negro) p144; Jehu p182; Jack (an Indian) p210; Jeranto a Negro man p231; Sam (an Indian) p236; William Sachem p326 

Mss 776 Series 4, Box 1, Folder 53: SWI Miscellaneous

Ward Family Papers

Census

1774

Rhode Island

Census of the state of Rhode Island. Indicates a total of 54435 whites, 3761 blacks and 1482 Indians.

Mss 776 Series 4, Loose Vol. 1, Ledger, 1763-1767

Ward Family Papers

Account Book

1763-1767

Newport

Accounts of Samuel Ward (1725-1776) include: Sam Brownell p58; Betty p81; Thomas Ninnegratt p131; and Jack p220

Mss 776 Series 7, Box 3, Folder 40: Loose Papers, 1734-1760

Ward Family Papers

Indenture

1740

Westerly

Thomas Ward (1711-1760) contains: indenture for "Indian man & Indian woman of Westerly" witnessed by Thomas Ward

Mss 778 Item # 1636

Warner Papers

Testimony 

Nov 1849


Testimony of William Cranston, November 1849, regarding Revolutionary War. Reads in part: "Jeremy Hazard's negro man Will whipped 100 lashes because he would not say he was sent by his master to give information to the British. It was just after the mutiny a few days."

Mss 159

Warren Insurance Company Records

Records

1800-1840

Warren

These records include correspondence, claims and other records on slave ships insured by a firm founded in 1800. 

Mss 1055 Folder 5: Anthony Low

Warwick Historical Society Deposit

Will

1746

Warwick

Anthony Low of Warwick, Will: he names Newport, Peg, Bristol, Fortune, Prince and Patience and leaves them to various family members.

Mss 221 Series 1: Meeting Records, Subseries 1: Early Records Box 1, Vol. 3

Warwick Town Records Collection

Will

1726

Newport

"Copies of Records in Warwick with Some Original Deeds," In a copy of the will of Samuel Cranston, Newport, Cranston divides "his negros" Saul, Kate, Bridgett, Francisco, Tony and Flora leaving them to various family members.

Mss 221 Series 1, Subseries 2: Town Council Records Box 1, Vol. 4, 5, 6

Warwick Town Records Collection

Town Council Meetings

1759-1798

Warwick

Bound volumes I (4), II (5), III (6), Blacks and Indians are referenced throughout the proceedings often appearing before the council being indentured into apprenticeships. 

A partial list includes: 

Violet, daughter of Julius (I:5) and Jacob Trucks daughter

Tim, son of Indian Beth (I:43) 

Caleb West (I:65) 

Joseph Cheese, Indian (I:65) 

Sarah Gardner, an Indian squaw (I:67) 

Africa (I:68) 

Adam (I:74) 

Pero Cheese, son of Bark (II:23) 

Thomas Cheese, son of Betham (II: 87-88) 

Sampson Spywood (II:321) 

Solon, son of Mary Carder (III:124) 

David Spencer, son of Sarah Spenser alias Sambo, blackwoman (III:331) 

Mss 230 Box 1, Folder 6: Jail Book, 1818-1823

Washington County Records Collection

Jail Book

1818-1823

Washington (Kings) County

Blacks committed to the jail include Sharper Bours (July 12, 1819), Ceaser Updike (October l5, 1819) and Cezar Robinson (July 3, 1820) among others.

*Mss 9001-W

Waterman, Capt. John

List of Rateable Estate

24 Sep 1779

Warwick 

Lists 5 unnamed slaves as part of his estate.

Mss 9001-W John Waterman Jr. (unidentified) Day Book, 1801

Waterman, John Jr.

Account Book

19 Feb 1801

Warwick

Includes daybook accounts with Amos Budlong, Pero Cheese, Ruben Roberts, Boston Talbury, Sam Lockwood, and others.

Mss 9001-W

Waterman, Prince

Papers 

1792-1797

Warwick

Lease agreement with Sarah Barton, 1792. Justice of the Peace warrant for Prince Waterman and John Waterman, Jr. concerning a suit by Sarah Barton against the two men, 1793. Deed for a house and land from John Waterman, Jr., 1797.

Mss 9001-W Loose vol.

Waterman, William

Account Book

1771-1850

Warwick

Account book entries include Cato Sweet.

Mss 868 Box 2, Folder 22: Travel Diary, 3/1894 Beaufort, SC

Watson Family Papers

Diary

1894

South Carolina

Diary of Cora Stewart Watson, a northern white woman doing Red Cross relief work in Beaufort, South Carolina in 1894. The following are extracts. Travels through coastal South Carolina: "Only once on the way did I see anything that looked like a white settlement, and that at one of the phosphate mines. [3/12/1894, p. 8] Arrived at Mrs. Mather's School in Beaufort, where her mother taught. The school also was involved in relief work for blacks. It was apparently the Yankee author's first visit to the south, which she found unsettling. "Out of any [window] you would look, nothing but niggers could be seen - lean niggers, fat niggers, tawny niggers, brawny niggers, black niggers, brown niggers and yellow niggers - before the day was done I should think there were three hundred or more here for rations and clothes." [3/12/1894, page 13] Detailed accounts of starvation and destitution heard from relief workers [page 15]. "It seems to me the white people in the south do not take a sense of this suffering or they would do more but I suppose they too lost a great deal. . . .. . .There must have been four hundred people here today from every place within a radius of thirty miles. Just think of walking even twenty miles for four quarts of grits and a few pieces of clothes." [p.15] At the school, "quite a new experience for me to have these twenty six colored girls about me and to feel that they look to me as an example." [p.16] Description of the old slave pen in town: "it is built of tabby or cement and oyster shells and so stands as to form the wall on two sides of the yard. The windows are simply holes in the wall fitted with narrow slats to admit as little light and air as possible. And I suppose this is where the poor slaves had to spend the night before they were sold." [p.18] "Little Sarah has been combing my hair and as she twisting it she call to me 'look in de glass Miss Cora see de long cow tail.' She is a perfect little witch and if I was rich and had a place I would take her north." [3/16/1894] The following hymn is also transcribed:

"Give me that old time religion

" " " " " "

" " " " " "

It is good enough for me.

It is good in the time of trouble

" " " on the bed of supplication

It is good when the Dr. gives me over

" " " " my mudder give me over

" " " in the world of judgement" [3/13/1894]

There is much more to be found on race relations in this diary.

Mss 9001-W Box 4

Watson, Jeffrey

Diary


South Kingstown?

In back of diary, records what appears to be births and deaths of his slaves, as follows:

"Jack was born august 1748

Tobe was born now dead

Silve was born now dead

Siboa was born now dead

Choe was born (Dyed april 1780) 1756

Trimus was born February 1758"

Mss 9001-W Box 4

Watson, John

Deed

26 Feb 1737

South Kingston

Deed from John Waterman to his daughter, Dorcas Gardner for "negro woman Bess."

Mss 799 Loose Vol. 5: Samuel Wetmore Ledger, 1813-1822

Samuel Wetmore Records

Accounts

1813-1822

Middletown, CT

Ledger includes accounts with Cuff Boston, Thomas Lewis, Thomas Negro, Ockroa, Jr., Haniball Scipio, John Stanton, and possibly other black men.

Mss 155 Box 1, Folder 6

Whaling Company of East Greenwich Papers

Papers

1806-1808

East Greenwich

The names of Ezekiel Pompey and Ceasar Howard appear throughout the papers for the ship Hudson including in crew lists, shipping papers and accounts.

Mss 9001-W Box 9

Wheeler, Bennett H.

Journal

1806 (copied)


"A Journal of the most particular Occurrences of the Life of Bennett Wheeler, Esq. September 20, 1776: mentions his gratitude to the old black woman Gow, who since married a black man in Rehoboth named Christmas. Comments on the equality of black and white men.

Mss 9001-W Box 9

Whipple, Joseph

Inventory

5 Aug 1720

Providence

Inventory of the estate of William Crawford lists "3 negros a man a woman and a boy" and "an Indian girl's time."

Mss 9001-W Box 9

Whipple, Oliver

Correspondence

3 Nov 1777

Portsmouth

Letter from Oliver Whipple to Major Samuel White concerns John Nelson's slave Primus. "...Mr. Nelson told him, if said Primus cou'd get enough to pay him, he shou'd be free; but avarice has got so strong Possession of Mr. Nelson that I fear he will violate his Word with the said Primus, & turn his promised freedom into dispairing Slavery."

Microfilm E 445 .R4 Part 2, Reed 12 Mss 9001-W Box 9

Whitting, Nathaniel B. and Roby

Records

1773, 1774


Folder 1: includes several documents from a slaving voyage along the coast of Africa in 1773 and 1774, including an agreement with a local governor to deliver slaves, accounts with several merchants, and a list of slaves taken. These serve as unusually explicit descriptions of slaving voyages. Whitting sailed as a first mate on the journey and became master after the death of Captain Thomas Rogers. 

Folder 2: a file on difficulties with a young slave named Fantee in 1783. Fantee was leased to Edward Jones of Providence, did not work to Jones' satisfaction, was accused repeatedly of stealing, escaped, was recaptured, was imprisoned and then returned to the widow Roby Whitting. She immediately entrusted him with Captain Isaac Gorham to sell as a field hand in the West Indies. On the journey, however, Gorham's ship was captured by a British war ship, and Fantee was confiscated as contraband. 

Mss 9001-W Box 13

Wickes, John

Inventory

21 Jan 1741/2

Warwick

Inventory purchased from Wickes' estate includes Fillip, Peggy, Saul, a child, and an Indian man named Tom.

Mss 9001-W Box 13

Wickes, Sarah

Inventory

31 Jan 1753

Warwick

Inventory includes "one Neagro woman named Judah" (p.2).

Mss 407 Series 2: Miscellaneous Folder 2: Account Books

Wiliam Ellery Papers

Accounts

1780-1815


Includes two small volumes of accounts with servants and laborers in Newport, 1780-1820. In the first volume are a page of accounts with “George (son of Jenny Weeden) a black boy came to live at my house Apl 7th 1805" (page 1); an account with “a black man named Hammond Tanner” in 1795 (signed by “Hammorn Tanner”) (page 17); and “Abigail Tweedy a black Woman”, 1798 (page 26). In the second volume are “Wilson Lawton a black man” in 1807 (page 2), “Binah a black girl” and “Chloe Sherman a black girl” in 1812 (page 15); “Phillis a black woman” in 1815 (page 17). Both volumes also list dozens of other servants of indeterminate race.

Mss 9001-W Box 15

Willett, Andrew

Inventory

22 Apr 1712

North Kingston

Inventory of the estate of Capt. Andrew Willett includes unnamed black women and men.

Mss 715 Loose Vol., 1830-1855

William A. Shaw Papers

Ledger

1830-1855

East Greenwich

Physician accounts show treatment for Nat Rome "colored" (p.148), Timothy Rodman "man of color" (p.182), Dorcas Gardner "black woman" (p.155), and on the last page "Perry black man /Old Rittes son/" and "Bradwick Thomas (black)."

Mss 71 Series 1, Subseries 3: Inn Accounts, Box 2, Folder 1: 1776-1778

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1776-1778

East Greenwich

Ledger accounts include: Prince Greene, Prince Hammon, Jack Gardner, Pomp Mumford, Yorke Champlin, Peter Daley, Titus Peirce, Newport Champlin, Lamon? Hall, Samuel Allen, Ruben Spencer, Plato Vandoren

*Mss 71 Series 2, Subseries 2: Business Accounts, Box 3, Folder 6: 1795-1798, Sloop Providence

William Arnold Papers 

Papers

Sep 1796, Feb 1797, May 1797

East Greenwich

Sloop Providence papers for voyage to West Indies with crew including Samuel Sambo and possibly Freeborn Johnson is black

*Mss 71 Series 1, Subseries 2: Business Accounts, Box 1, Folder 13: Accounts with Spinners, 1811

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1811

East Greenwich

Accounts of spinners, naming John Gardner, November 26, 1811 and Mary black woman, October 29, 1811

*Mss 71 Series 1, Subseries 2: Business Accounts, Box 1, Folder 19: Daybook 1811-1819

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1811-1813

East Greenwich

Daybook of innkeeper, accounts with Abraham Pero, 1812 and Jack Gardner, 1812

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1783-1816

East Greenwich

Store ledger accounts with Julious Fry, John Gardner (1811-1814), Prince Ingraham (1784), Philer Philips (1789-93), Prince Hammon (1785-88), Plato Vandoram (1784-85)

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1786-1807

East Greenwich

Arnold's ledger has accounts with Prince Greene for purchases including violin strings. Black Tom Arnold bought rum (1798). Also mentions Ben Lippitt (1799-1803) buying strings.

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1790

East Greenwich

Unbound materials include a settlement of accounts with Pomp Mumford who must have been a crew person on a fishing boat.

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Bill

Feb 1797

East Greenwich

Portlege bill in Providence includes Samuel Sambo, crewman

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1797

East Greenwich

Settlement of accounts with Sam Sambo for sundry goods and cash

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1799

East Greenwich

James Sweet settles accounts for shoes made for Moses, Ace, Margaret and others

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1799-1801

East Greenwich

In his business journal he records store charges against Black Tom Arnold

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Receipt

Jul 1809

East Greenwich

Receipt for payment to Drinham & Hawkins for advertising notice of his "runaway servant"

*Mss 71

William Arnold Papers 

Accounts

1819

East Greenwich

Accounts with laborers working on their ship Commodore Perry, names Cato Northrup