Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Biographical, 34
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History  of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical

NY: The American Historical Society, Inc. 1920

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REV. HUGH B. CARPENTER  -- Regularly ordained a minister of the Baptist church, Mr. Carpenter followed his calling until 1915, serving churches in New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  He was then called to another sphere of usefulness, and since 1915 has been head of the business founded by A. Herbert Arnold, and conducted by him for fifty-one years in the city of Providence.  As a minister he labored earnestly in behalf of the cause he loved and was an effective advocate of the religion of the lowly Nazarene, whose teachings were his inspiration.  High minded, courteous and sympathetic by nature, these qualities were the secret of his success as a pastor, and the same qualities are in constant evidence in the work in which he is now engaged, and the sterling quality of his character is no less worthily employed than when he was the spiritual instead of the official funeral director.  He is a descendant of William Carpenter, who came from England, settled in Rhode Island, was one of the founders of the First Baptist Church of Providence, the first in America, and was prominent in the settlement of Pawtucket.  A branch of the family settled in Waverly, N. Y., and there Rev. Hugh B. Carpenter's parents were residing at the time of their son's birth.  Honor and fame have attached to the family history in Rhode Island, as elsewhere during the nearly three centuries it has been an an American family, the professions especially being enriched by the attainments of sons by the name of Carpenter.

Hugh B. Carpenter, son of Isaac N. and Adeline A. Carpenter, was born in Waverly, N. Y., November 12, 1870, and there completed a public school course of study, finishing with high school graduation.  He next pursued the academic course at the famous Temple University, Pa., going thence to Crozer's Theological Seminary at Upland, near Chester, Pa., an institution for the educational and theological training for young men aspiring to the ministry of the Baptist church.  He pursued theological study at Crozer until graduated, class of 1899, and formally ordained a clergyman of the Baptist faith.  His first call was from the First Baptist Church of Toms River, N. J., remaining there for three years, his work being greatly blessed in that well known resort of the New Jersey coast.  He closed his work in Toms River after three years of successful pastoral labor, and took up similar work with the Baptist congregation of South Norwalk, Conn., there remaining until called to the Cranston Street Baptist Church of Providence, R. I.   He located in Providence, May 1, 1911, and faithfully served Cranston Street Church until October, 1915.  He then succeeded to the business of A. Herbert Arnold, who retired after something more than half a century of business activity as a funeral director and undertaker.  While it required courage and a high sense of duty to make this change, Mr. Carpenter did not shrink, nor should he, for next to his calling there is no profession or occupation where higher moral standards are called for than that of the undertaker.  To his work Mr. Carpenter brings nobility of character, scientific knowledge and skill, and during the three years he has been head of the business has gained confidence and approval.

Mr. Carpenter married, August 24, 1899, Caroline P. Faulkner, daughter of John E. Faulkner, of Pennsylvania.  Mr. and Mrs. Faulkner [sic] are the parents of two daughters and a son:  Miriam Jessie, Linn Mitchell, and Martha Perry Carpenter.

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EBENEZER TIFFANY  --  There is no name which has been more anciently or honorably associated with that part of New England through which the disputed boundry line of Massachusetts and Rhode Island runs, and which was the location of the ancient settlement of Rehoboth, Mass., and near at hand the county of Bristol in Rhode Island than Tiffany. Here for about two hundred and fifty years the family bearing this name has been located, its members always having maintained a position of importance in the community, and proved themselves men alike of the highest integrity and great practical ability.  The town of Barrington was the home of one branch of this large family and here dwelt generation after generation the ancestors of Ebenezer Tiffany, with whose career we are especially concerned.  The family was founded in this part of the country by one Humphrey Tiffany, of whom, however, comparatively little in known.

(I)  Humphrey Tiffany and his wife Elizabeth are found in Rehoboth, Mass., as early as 1663 and 1664.  The records of that ancient town contain very meagre reference to him, however, but it is known that he was killed by lightning on July 15, 1685, and that his widow was appointed to administer his estate.

(II)  Ebenezer Tiffany, son of Humphrey and Elizabeth Tiffany, was born at Rehoboth in 1663.  He was one of many to bear the name Ebenezer in the family.  He became the possessor of a large tract of land, stretching eastward from the Mouscochuck creek, and here built his home, the house standing not far from what is now the railroad station at Nayatt, in the township of Barrington, R. I.  His name and that of Thomas Tiffany, of Swansea, were among those recorded as petitioners for the town of Barrington in 1711.  There is positive evidence that this Ebenezer Tiffany was the one who was recorded at Warren as dying there on February 10, 1747.  There is also a record in Barrington of the birth of Sarah Tiffany, which occurred there February 9, 1727-28, a daughter of Hezekiah and Sarah Tiffany, while in one of the old burying grounds of Barrington occurred the interment of father and daughter.  His death occurred in 1779, at the age of eighty-two, and hers in 1774, when forty-seven.  The epitaphs on their tombstones read respectively:

'The world is vanity and all things show it, I thought so once and now I know it.'

Beneath this stone doth lie
As much virtue as could die;
Who when alive, nature did give
As much beauty as could live.'

(III)  Ephraim Tiffany, son of Ebenezer Tiffany, was born in Swansea, Mass., February 7, 1704, and resided there for many years.  He married Esther Viall, and they were the parents of the following children:  Elizabeth, born in 1745; Rachel, born September 22, 1748; Mollie, born June 1, 1751; and Ebenezer, mentioned below.  The mother of these children was married to Mr. Tiffany, December 27, 1744, and died March 19, 1792.

(IV)  Ebenezer (2) Tiffany, son of Ephraim and Esther (Viall) Tiffany, was born June 10, 1753.  He was one of the most prominent men in the community and took part actively in its affairs.  He served as a soldier in the Continental Army during the American struggle for independence, and was later chosen to represent Barrington in the General Assembly of Rhode Island.  On April 1, 1776, on the alarm at Bristol, he joined the company commanded by Captain Thomas Allin, and from April 5 to May 20, of that year was a member of the militia company which guarded Barrington, and was later called into service on the Island of Rhode Island.  In 1780 he was a soldier in the company commanded by Captain Viall Allin.  His services in the State Legislature occurred during the two terms beginning respectively 1788 and 1806, during which he proved himself a capable and disinterested legislator. He was president of the United Congregational Society of Barrington from 1807 to 1821, and his death occurred April 4, 1826, and that of his wife, December 17, 1848.  He married, Feby. 2, 1783, Mary Ann Bullock, a daughter of Colonel William Bullock, of Rehoboth.  To them the following children were born:  Elizabeth, Oct. 14, 1784;  Sarah, Jany. 27, 1786;  Alethea, Feby. 26,  1788;  Mary Ann, Feby. 17, 1790;  Esther Viall and Susanna Kent (twins), Feby. 13, 1793, the latter dying April 5, 1803;  Ebenezer, mentioned below;  Lydia, March 23, 1798;  Hezekiah, mentioned below;  and Lemira, Feby. 3, 1802.

(V)  Ebenezer (3) Tiffany, son of Ebenezer (2) and Mary Ann (Bullock) Tiffany, and well known throughout the community as Deacon Ebenezer Tiffany, was born July 13, 1795.  He played a very prominent part in the life of the community, and at his death, which occurred June 4, 1864, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, the town adopted appropriate resolutions concerning his life and public services.  From 1822 to 1838 he held the office of town treasurer.  In 1838 he became town clerk and remained in this office from that year until 1864.  He was a man of strong religious feelings and beliefs, and was particularly active as a member of the Congregational church, holding many official positions in connection therewith.  He was clerk of the church from 1830 to 1838, deacon in 1838 and from 1843 to 1851, and church treasurer from 1852 to 1861.  He was treasurer of the United Congregational Society of Barrington from 1824 to 1837 and from 1856 to 1864, the year of his death, while from 1851 to 1860 he was president of that society.  He married at Troy, N. H., October 3, 1830, Mary Rich, of that town, and they were the parents of the following children:  Susan Kent, born Oct. 11, 1832, and died Jany. 18, 1917;  William Bullock, born June 13, 1834, died Jany. 12, 1904;  Ebenezer, mentioned below; John Crane, born Jany. 7, 1838; Mary Louisa, born Feby. 8, 1840, died Dec. 8, 1897;  Sarah Eliza, born Feby. 11, 1844;  Samuel Mills, born July 4, 1846;  and Rachel Ann, born Nov. 13, 1849, died Dec. 16, 1916.

(V)  Hezekiah Tiffany, son of Ebenezer (2)  and Mary Ann (Bullock) Tiffany, was born January 18, 1800, at Barrington, and became a very prominent citizen of that place.  He married, November 24, 1846, Eliza Rich, but there were no children born of this union.  His death occurred in 1872 and his epitaph was as follows:  'He was a faithful husband and friend, pure in character, sincere in purpose and devoted to Christian life.  His fidelity to the town and church were unwavering.  He was town treasurer of Barrington thirty-two years.  Peaceful is thy rest.'

(VI)  Ebenezer (4) Tiffany, son of Ebenezer (3) and Mary (Rich) Tiffany, was born February 16, 1836, at Barrington, R. I. His birthplace was the old Tiffany homestead, which stands on what is known as Maple avenue, which runs from Barrington to Nayatt.  He was a man of very strong character and inherited many of the abilities of his ancestors.  For thirty years or more he conducted a successful ice business at Barrington, obtaining his supply of this commodity from Prince's pond at the foot of Prince's hill, and this business was only ended with his life.  In 1874 he was chosen town treasurer, an office which had already been held by his father and his Uncle Hezekiah, and in this he continued until the time of his death, a period of some twenty-five years.  His reputation for integrity and probity, not only in his business relations but in all the affairs of life, was second to none and he was looked up to and honored by all the members of the community. Ebenezer Tiffany married, May 23, 1865, Harriet L. Goodwin, of Mansfield, Mass., and they were the parents of the following children:  George Edward, born Feby. 11, 1867, and died March 6, 1868;  Ebenezer, mentioned below; and Jessie Goodwin, born July 4, 1872, graduated from the Barrington High School in 1890, and from Brown University in 1897 with the degree of A. B., and has since that time followed the profession of teaching.

(VII)  Ebenezer (5) Tiffany, son of Ebenezer (4) and Harriett L. (Goodwin) Tiffany, was born April 7, 1869.  He received his education at the local public schools of Barrington, and later attended the High School in Warren, where he studied under Lewis H. Meader, the well known educator.  At the latter institution he remained until he had reached the age of sixteen years, when he abandoned his studies and entered his father's office to assist the elder man with the large ice busines he had developed.  Upon the death of his father this business passed entirely into his hands, since which time Mr. Tiffany has done much, not only in the development of this enterprise but to promote business prosperity in the community generally. The business of which he is the head was founded in 1867 and is the oldest of its kind in Bristol county at the present time.  Mr. Tiffany is now regarded as one of the most substantial and successful business men in the community.

But it has not been only in the business world that Mr. Tiffany's time and energies have been expended.  On the contrary there has been no one more interested or active than he in community affairs, and as a staunch Republican he has taken an active part in politics.  He was elected a member of the Town Council in 1896 and re-elected in each of the two succeeding years.  At the time of his father's death he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the elder man as town treasurer, and at the next annual election was elected to that position.  From that time to the present he has continued to occupy this office, a period of about nineteen years.  Since the year 1822 the office of town treasurer in Barrington has been held with comparatively few breaks by members of the Tiffany family, these including both Mr. Tiffany's father and grandfather and his great-uncle, Hezekiah, all of whom served for long terms.  This is a record which it would be difficult to equal and which speaks eloquently of the regard and confidence placed in these men by their fellow townsfolk.  Besides these business and political activities, Mr. Tiffany is a promient figure in the social world of Barrington, and is greatly interested in matters of genealogy and local history.  He is a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, his membership existing through the services rendered by his great-grandfather, Ebenezer Tiffany, in that historic struggle.  He is also a member of the Society of Colonial Wars.  In his religious belief Mr. Tiffany is a member of the Episcopal church and attends divine service at St. John's Church of that denomination at Barrington Center.

Ebenezer Tiffany was united in marriage, October 24, 1905, with Jeannette Low Mowry, a daughter of Joseph E. and Carrie (Low) Mowry, of Providence.

Ebenezer Tiffany stands to-day in the regard of his associates as one of the most highly respected figures in the present generation, a man who consistently stands for the best and most worthy things in the community. Men of his calibre never compromise with the evil that is to be found in all communities, but may be counted on to foster and support all such movements as tend to the advancement of the common weal, whether materially or in the realm of ethics, education and general enlightenment.  His career from its beginning is characterized by much hard and persistent expenditure of energy, and the substantial position that he has come to occupy in the life of the community is the obvious and appropriate reward of application and mental qualifications of a high order.  His integrity and honor are never impeached and this fact, combined with his genial manner, his courtesy and consideration of all men, and a certain intrinsic manliness which shows in his every action and word, make him an extremely popular figure and have won him a great host of friends whose devotion he returns in kind.  He is devoted to his home and finds his chief happiness in the intimate intercourse of his own hearthstone.  There is no relation of life in which he does not play his part worthily, and in which he might not well serve as an ideal for ambitious youths.

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SAMUEL J. FOSTER  --  The late Samuel J. Foster, manager of the Providence Warehouse Company, and for many years a well known figure in similar enterprises in Rhode Island and in New York City, was born in Pawtucket, then a part of the State of Massachusetts, November 27, 1828, scion of a distinguished New England ancestry.  He numbered among his ancestors passengers on the 'Mayflower', and in the direct male line was a descendant of Major John Foster, of French and Indian War fame. The line descended through Captain Robert Foster, the hero of Leslie's retreat at Northbridge and Salem, in the American Revolution.

Samuel J. Foster was educated in his native town, and on completing his studies entered mercantile life.  He was engaged in business at the outbreak of the Civil War, but immediately laid aside his affairs to enlist in the famous Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard, which he accompanied to Washington in 1861.  With the traditions of a family distinguished in military service to its country in all its wars before him from early manhood, he had taken a deep interest in things military.  In 1847 Mr. Foster became a member of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, and in 1849 held the rank of sergeant under Colonel Balch.  He was therefore well prepared by this training to forge rapidly ahead in his regiment in 1861. After a short period of service on the battle fronts of the South, he was commissioned captain of Company K, Forthy-Eighth Regiment, New York, and with this command participated in some of the most intensive struggles of the entire war, among them the engagement at Port Royal, Hilton Head, with the 'Swamp Angel', Dawfuski Island, Fort Pulaski and other places. He was brigaged under General Sherman with General Charles R. Brayton's Rhode Island battery, and also served as aide to General H. B. Duryea.  His military record is eloquent of the finest and most disinterested type of service, and sustains honorably the record of the family in former wars. Captain Foster was a member of the Second Division Staff when it formed the escort of the Prince of Wales (the late King Edward VII) on his visit to New York.

Returning to the north on the conclusion of peace, Captain Foster again resumed his business affairs.  He subsequently became a partner in the extensive Wall street warehouses on the Brooklyn waterfront, in New York. For a long period of years he was active in similar enterprises in New York and in Brooklyn, and was at one time proprietor of the United States Bonded Warehouses, Front and Water streets, New York.  On his removal to Providence, in 1881, Captain Foster became manager of the Providence Warehouse Company, which position he occupied for almost a quarter of a century, until his death in 1914.

Captain Foster was a well-known figure in business life in the city of Providence, throughout the period of his connection with warehouse enterprises. He was also active in military circles, and at one time was colonel of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery Veteran Association.  He was a companion of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, a member of the Seventh Regiment, New York Veterans' Assocation, and of Prescott Lodge, Grand Army of the Republic.  He was also a member of Bedford Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of Brooklyn.

Captain Foster married, October 30, 1862, Anna Frances Stevenson, of New York.  They were the parents of two children, Samuel J., Jr., and Anna Orne Foster.  Mrs. Foster survives her husband, and resides at No. 37 Creighton street, Providence, R. I. Samuel J. Foster died at his home in Providence, November 11, 1914, in his eighty-sixth year of his age.

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John HopeJOHN HOPE -- The name of Hope is inseparably interwoven with the history of textile printing, and more especially with the art of engraving rolls for use in the calico printing industry.  The House of Hope was founded in Manchester, England, in 1810; was established in Providence in 1847; incorporated there in 1890; and now exists bigger and stronger than ever as John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company, the officers being at this time (1918) Charles H. Hope, president, and William H. Hope, secretary and treasurer.

The English history of the family business dates back to the time of Sir Robert Peel (about 1780), the father of calico printing in England. Three generations of Hopes have been connected with engraving rolls for calico printers.  The great-grandfather of the members of the present house, John Hope & Sons, was associated with Sir Robert Peel.  The founder of the American house was John Hope, who passed away in his ninety-second year.

John Hope was born in Salford, Manchester, England, December 30, 1820, son of John and Catherine (Roberts) Hope.  He was educated in the schools of Salford, and at the age of fourteen years entered upon an apprenticeship of seven years duration with his father, John Hope, Sr., under whose direction he learned the art of roll-engraving.  In 1841, in partnership with his elder brother, Edmund Hope, under the firm name of John & Edmund Hope, he took over the old Manchester establishment of his father, and within a short period had so successfully developed the business that its products were known in the calico printing industry throughout the world.  John Hope was a genius of the highest order, and the delicate engraving done by the firm was under his personal supervision, some of it done by himself.

In 1846 Philip Allen, then a well-known manufacturer and printer of calico, of Providence, R. I., visiting Europe, made the acquaintance of John Hope, and was given an opportunity to inspect the Hope plant and familiarize himself with the work of the firm.  Realizing the vast field which the textile printing industries of New England offered to a man of the ability of John Hope, Philip Allen urged him to transfer his business to America. In 1847 the firm of John & Edmund Hope, with the machinery of the English plant, and an English working force, was established in the city of Providence, and began the manufacture and engraving of copper cylinders in the old Durfee Mill, which was located at the corner of Cranston and Dexter streets, on the site of the present State armory.  The unsurpassed excellence of the work of the new firm brought it a large clientele among the huge mills of New England, and its success was insured from the very outset.  In 1850 larger quarters were necessary and the firm leased the Livsey building, at the corner of Point and Richmond streets.  In the same year Edmund Hope retired from the partnership and his place was taken by his brother Thomas, who always took a lively interest in the business, looking after the financial end.

Around this period John Hope brought to perfection his greatest invention, the pantograph engraving machine for the engraving of copper cylinders for printing all grades of textiles.  The pantograph, representing the highest development of machine engraving, revolutionized the business of roll-engraving.  It had been an idea of the senior John Hope that machine-shop would be a good adjunct of the engraving business, and when the new plant was opened at Point and Richmond streets the sons had carried out the idea of their father, and a machine shop was a part of the new plant. It was here that John Hope finally brought to completion and gave to the world a machine which engraved most accurately textile rolls and which is used to-day by the governments of the United States, Canada, China and Japan for the finer branches of steel and copper plate engraving.  Other machines from the 'House of Hope" followed the pantograph machine; among them were the machines for graduating, numbering and lettering steel rules and finely-graded tools, and for engraving dies, and others of the pantograph group.  In each of these machines the genius of John Hope was paramount. Until 1865 the firm was styled John & Thomas Hope.  During the Rebellion, Mr. Hope visited the industrial centers of Europe, where he introduced his machines.  On his return to Providence it was again necessary to enlarge the facilities of the firm, and in the latter part of 1865 the business was removed to the corner of Dorrance and Dyer streets, and subsequently to No. 158 Cove street.  At this time the late Heber LeFavour, then adjutant-general of Rhode Island, was admitted to partnership, the firm name becoming Hope & Company, which it remained until the death of Mr. LeFavour, when the old title of John & Thomas Hope was reverted to.  In 1882 they purchased a desirable site on Mashapaug street, and erected the factory where the business is now located.  In 1890 the business was incorporated as John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company.

John Hope ranks among the leading inventors who directed their genius to textile machinery in the latter half of the nineteenth century.  He was the inventor of the first pantograph engraving machine which possessed any real merit, and in developing his invention to the highest point of efficiency did away with the former tedious and expensive process of hand work.  The pantograph system of engraving was more generally assimilated in the United States than in Europe at the outset, but is now used throughout the entire world.  The business enterprise founded by John and Edmund Hope in the city of Providence in 1847 is now the largest of its kind in the world.  John Hope possessed, in addition to his talent in mechanical lines, great ability as an executive and organizer.  He was widely-known in business circles in Rhode Island, and was active in the management of the John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company until ten years prior to his death, when he retired to private life.

In 1854 Mr. Hope married Emma Cordwell, daughter of Joseph and Rachel Cordwell, of Manchester, England.  They were the parents of ten children, eight of whom survive:  Emma Cordwell Hope, died in Providence, R. I., July 17, 1878.  John Hope, died on September 8, 1912, at the venerable age of ninety-one years.  He had lived to see the machines he invented penetrate every part of the civilized world, and to know that the projects to which he had devoted his genius and strength for three-quarters of a century had revolutionized an industry.

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CHARLES H. HOPE, president of the John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company, and son of the late John and Emma (Cordwell) Hope, was born in Manchester, England, February 8, 1862.  In 1866 John Hope returned to America after a tour of Europe in the interest of his pantograph engraving machine, and established his family in Providence. Charles H. Hope received his elementary education in the public schools of the city, later attending the Mowry & Goff English and Classical School, and the Schofield Commercial School.  At the age of eighteen he became associated with his father, and began the long period of apprenticeship which eventually fitted him for the position of importance which he occupies in the firm to-day, and developed ot the highest point of efficiency and creative power the inventive genius which has placed him among the foremost rank of inventors of textile machinery in New England.  He mastered every department of the business of the 'House of Hope', and rose through the different grades to the office of president.

On May 3, 1892, Charles H. Hope patented his first important invention, the no-reduction pantograph, for the engraving of large drapery designs from the original size; this process elimates about fifty per cent of the labor entailed in the old method of hand engraving.  The invention of the automatic roll grinding and polishing machine, patented May 24, 1910, made it possible for Mr. Hope to make a success of the engraving of steel cylinders for schreiner finish, as the work depended upon having a very fine polished surface preparatory to engraving.  These machines are also being adopted by all the print works for automatically grinding and polishing copper print rolls, eliminating all hand-grinding and waste of stone, besides doing the work far superior and saving seventy-five per cent labor cost.  The leading newspapers use these machines for imparting a fine surface on their huge copper cylinders, preparatory to printing the pictoral section of the paper.  He is also the inventor of a process for producing a changeable silk effect on cotton fabrics.  Mr. Hope is a prominent figure in business and manufacturing circles in Providence.

From early childhood, Mr. Hope has been a lover of music, and an artist of fine ability on the violin, in which he has found rest and recreation, and an avocation amounting almost to a profession since early manhood.  The love of music which made him as a boy of eleven years choose a violin in preference to a Shetland pony has intensified throughout his life.  An ambition to study under the famous masters of Leipsic was never realized, because he was too greatly needed in affairs of the John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company.  He has developed his talent, however, under teachers of great ability in America, and for many years was identified with solo and orchestral work.  Bringing the mind of the inventor into play, he invented the Trinity Music Stand, a combined music stand, case and folio which has had a wide sale.  Mr. Hope is also a composer, and has written the words and music of several songs.  His latest effort, 'One for All and All for One', was dedicated to Secretary Lansing with the latter's permission.

Mr. Hope married, June 26, 1890, Julia Anderson Wilbur, daughter of J. Henry and Mary Elvira Wilbur of Providence.

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GILES BRIGGS --  Briggs families have figured prominently in the history of Rhode Island since the close of the seventeenth century.  The family is divided into two distinct branches, known as the Kingston Briggs and the Portsmouth Briggs, from the localities in which the early progenitors settled.  The founders, known as John, of Kings Town (Kingston) and John, of Portsmouth, settled in those towns in 1671 and 1638, respectively, and their descendants have since continued to play active and influential parts in these communities.  The line herein under consideration descends from John Briggs, of Kings Town (Kingston).

(I)  John Briggs, immigrant ancestor and founder, was a native of England, whence he emigrated at a date unknown to the American colonies.  He is first of record in Kings Town (Kingston) R. I., in the year 1671, but in all probability was a resident there long before that date.  On May 20, 1671, he became clerk of the military company, at the same time taking the oath of allegiance.  On January 1, 1672, he and five others bought of Awashuwett, chief sachem of Quohesett, in Narragansett, a tract of land there.  On January 11, following, he purchased fifty-seven acres of Richard Smith for £5.  In 1673 he was admitted a freeman. In 1687 he was chosen constable for Kings Town (Kingston), and on September 6, of that year, was taxed 5s. 8d. He and his wife Frances, sold land to William Allen, in 1697, after which date their names pass out of the records.  Both he and his wife died shortly after 1697.  John Osborne Austin assumes that Thomas and Daniel Briggs were their sons, but states that the evidence is not conclusive.

(II)  James Briggs, son of John and Frances Briggs, was born February 12, 1671, in Kingstown (Kingston), R. I., where he spent the early part of his life.  He resided subsequently in Providence and in Cranston.  In 1690 he was admitted a freeman.  On June 15, 1728, at which time he was living in Providence, he and  his wife Sarah, deeded to their youngest son, James, for love, etc., part of the farm on which they then lived.    On April 25, 1738, he and his wife deeded son-in-law, Daniel Colvin, and Zipporah, his wife (their daughter), fifty acres.  On April 22, 1757, representations were made to the Town Council of Cranston, by James Briggs, Jr., Joshua Burlingame, of Cranston, Benjamin Fiske, of Scituate, and Daniel Colvin, of Coventry, that James Briggs, Sr., 'is now grown very ancient, decrippled and helpless, and much impaired in his eyesight, understanding and memory.'  The council appointed his grandson, Moses Briggs, guardian.  James Briggs, Sr., died in 1757, and his will, dated March 20, 1755, was proved August 13, 1757.  James Briggs married Sarah Wickes, daughter of John and Rose (Townsend) Wickes, and granddaughter of John and Elizabeth (Cole) Townsend, of Oyster Bay, L. I.  She was the granddaughter of John Wickes, who was born in Staines, Middlesex county, England, in 1609, and sailed for the American colonies in 1635.  He was prominent in the early controversies over Warwick, and the friend and partner of Samuel Gorton, whose persecution by the Massachusetts authorities he shared.  He was later prominent in the Rhode Colony, and served often in high public office.  Sarah (Wickes) Briggs died about 1755.

(III)  James (2) Briggs, son of James (1) and Sarah (Wickes) Briggs, was a resident of Kingstown (Kingston) and of Providence, where he owned farm lands deeded him by his father and mother, to which he added considerably by purchase.  He was a prominent farmer.  He married, and among his children was Jonathan Briggs, mentioned below.

(IV)  Jonathan Briggs, son of James (2) Briggs, was born in 1755.  He was a life long resident of Warwick, R. I., where he died, December 23, 1837.  He married Abigail Greene, a descendant of Surgeon John Greene; she was born June 17, 1758, and died July 9, 1840, daughter of Nathaniel and Alice (Lee) Greene.  Jonathan Briggs served for a period of six years during the American Revolution with the Continental forces, participating in the battles of Germantown, Monmouth and Yorktown, and numerous lesser engagements.  On his return to Rhode Island he followed agricultural pursuits until his death in 1838.

(V)  Wanton Briggs, son of Jonathan and Abigail (Greene) Briggs, was born in Warwick, R. I., and resided there all his life. He was a prosperous farmer and a well-known and eminently-respected member of the community.  He was a staunch Baptist and an active worker in the church.  Wanton Briggs married Mary Tift, daughter of Solomon Tift; she died at Voluntown, Conn., July 9, 1886, aged seventy-four years.  Among their children was Olney, mentioned below.

(VI)  Deacon Olney Briggs, son of Wanton and Mary (Tift) Briggs, was born in Coventry, R. I., and was a farmer there until his death.  He was one of the foremost members of the community, a leader in religious life, a man well-loved and deeply-respected for Christian integrity and goodness of his life.  He was a deacon in the Baptist church for several decades, and an indefatigable worker in religious causes.  Deacon Olney Briggs married Eleanor Arnold, and they were the parents of the following children:  1. Douglas T.  2.  Arnold G., who sailed from Bristol for California in 1849, joining the tide of westward emigration to the gold fields.  3.  Abigail, married Joseph Hart.  4.  Curtis, died aged about thirty-five years.  5. Mary Estes, married Nathaniel Phillips.  6.  Giles A., mentioned below.  7. Caroline Amanda, married Nathan Kenyon.  Deacon Olney Briggs was active for seventy years in the Baptist church at Rice City and Hopkins Hollow, R. I., and at his death a beautiful tribute to his long and faithful service was paid him by his friends.

(VII)  Giles Briggs, son of Deacon Olney and Eleanor (Arnold) Briggs, was born in Coventry, R. I., in 1827.  He passed the early years of his life on his father's farm and at Phenix, R. I., where the family moved, and where he worked in a cotton mill a short time, later moving back to the farm.  He attended the local schools during the winter months, after the custom of the period, and helped in the work of the farm during the summer.  On attaining his majority he engaged in farming independently, and until his death was one of the leading agriculturists of the surrounding country.

Mr. Briggs married, December 26, 1852, Mary Ann Austin, daughter of Beriah and Phebe (Hopkins) Austin, born in Coventry, R. I., July 21, 1835, died October 19, 1915, and a descendant of several prominent old Rhode Island families.  Mr. and Mrs Briggs were the parents of eleven children: 1. Abbie E., who became the wife of George C. Blanchard, now deceased. 2. Curtis, died at the age of three months.  3.  Lewis M., deceased. 4.  Mary Josephine, now Mrs. Pierce Tuckerman, of Providence, R. I. 5.  Frank H., who resides in Anthony, R. I.  6.  Nellie G. (Mrs. George Bailey), of Whitinsville, Mass.  7.  Florence C., who married the late Searles Capewell, and now resides at Anthony, R. I.  8.  Ida A., wife of Ambrose H. Nicholas. 9.  Arthur Briggs, of Providence, R. I.  10.  Jennie V., (Mrs. Erban Matteson), of Anthony, R. I.  11.  Bertha P., died at the age of ten years.

Giles Briggs died at his home at Anthony, R. I., July 15, 1902, aged seventy-five years.  Mrs. Briggs devoted her life to her children and home.


These documents are made available free to the public for non-commercial purposes by the Rhode Island USGenWeb Project. Transcription and pictures 2001-2 by Beth Hurd

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