Vital Record of Rhode Island. 1636-1850.
Volume 1. East Greenwich. Part
First Series, Births, Marriages and Deaths.
A Family Register For The
By James N. Arnold, Editor of the Narragansett Historical
"Is My Name Written in the Book of Life?"
under the Auspices of the General Assembly.
Narragansett Historical Publishing Company. 1891.
Act for the
Incorporation of East Greenwich.
In General Assembly, at Newport, October 31,
Voted, Whereas, at the General Assembly held for the
Collony, at Newport, in May last,it was ordered that a certain tract of land in
some convenient place in the Narragansett Country shall be laid forth into
hundred acre shares with the house lots, for the accommodatinge of soe may of
the inhabitants of this Collony as stand in need of land, and the General
Assembly shall judge to be supplyed. In pursuance of said act of the General
Assembly this present court doe enact and declare that the said tract of land be
forthwith layd forth to containe five thousand acres, which shall be divided as
followeth; five hundred acres to be laid in some place neare the sea, and as
commodius as may be for a Towne, which said five hundred acres shall be divided
into fifty house lots, and the remainder of the said five thousand acres, beinge
four thousand five hundred acres, shall be divided into fifty equal shares or
great divisions; and that each person hereafter named and admitted by this
Assembly to have land in the said tract, shall have and enjoy to him and his
heirs and assigns forever in manner and forme, and under the conditions and
limitations hereinafter expressed, one of the said house lots and one great
division, containing in the whole one bundred acres.
And further this
Assembly do enact, order and declare, that the persons before named, that is to
say, -- John Spencer, Thomas Nicolls, Senr., Clement Weaver, Henry Brightman,
George Vaughan, John Weaver, Charles Macarty, Thomas Wood, Thomas Frye, Benjamin
Griffin, Daniel Vaughan, Thomas Derrigan, John Pearce Mason, Stephen Peckham,
John Crandall, Henry Lilly, John Albro, Jun., Philip Long, Richard Knight, John
Peckham, Thomas Peckham, William Clarke, Edward Lay, Edward Richmond, Edmund
Calverly, John Heath, Robert Havens, John Strainge, Jun., John Parker, George
Browne, Richard Barnes, Samson Ballou, Jonathan Devell, Benjamin Mowry, Joseph
Mowry, William Wilbore, Jun., Gyles Pearce, James Batty, John Remington,
Benjamin Gorton, Henry Dyre, John Knowles, Stephen Arnold, Jun., William
Hawkins, John Sanford, John Gorton, and John Holden, are the persons unto whom
the said tract of land is granted, and who sahll possess and enjoy the same,
their heirs and assigns, accordinge to the true intent and meaninge of this
present grant. And to the end that the said persons and their successors, the
proprietors of the said land from time to time may be in the better capacity to
manage their public affaires, this Assembly doe enact and declare that the said
plantation shall be a Towne, by the name and title of East Greenwich, in His
Majesty's Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, with all rights,
libertys, and privileges whatsoever unto a Towne appertaininge; and that the
said persons above mentioned, unto whom the said grant is made, are by this
present Assembly and the authority thereof, made and admitted the freement of
the said Towne, and they, or soe many of them as shall be then present, not
being fewer than twelve on the said land, are required and empowered to meet
together upon the second wednesday in April next, and constitute a Towne
Meeting, by electing a Moderator, a Towne Clerk, with such Constables as to them
shall seem requisite; and alsoe to choose persons their Deputies to sitt in
General Assembly, and two persons, one to serve on the Grand Jury, and one on
the Jury of Legalls, and soe the like number and for the said services at the
said Court from time to time. And to the end that the said plantation may be
speedily settled and improved according to the end of this present court in the
granting thereof; be it enacted and ordained, that each person mentioned in this
present grant, shall, within one year after the publication thereof make a
settlement on his house lott, by building a bouse fit and suitable for
habitation; and in case any person who hath any of the said house lotcs shall
neglect or refuse by himselfe or his assignee to build accordingly, he shall
forfeit both the house lott and greater division, to be disposed by any
succeedinge General Assembly as they see cause.
And further this
Assembly doe enact and declare, that if any person unto whom the said land is
granted, by this present act, shall at any time within one and twenty years
after the date hereof, sell, grant, make over or otherwise dispose of any of the
land or lands hereby granted unto him unto any other person interested in the
said plantation, that then the said person or persons soe selling, or any other
person or persons whatsoever, whithout liberty had and obtained from the General
Assembly, that then the said person or persons soe sellinge or disposinge of the
land, shall lose all other lands whatever that he is possessed of in the said
plantation, and also the lands soe disposed of to be and remaine to this
Collony, anything to the contrary thereof in this present act declared
And further it is enacted, and declared by this
Assembly and the authority thereof, that the freeman of the said Towne shall
make and lay out convenient highways from the Bay up into the country,
throughout the whole Towneship, as shall be convenient for the settlement of the
country above and about the said Towneship. [R. I. Colonial Records, Vol.
II, page 587.]
The Third General Six Principle Baptist
Church of East Greenwich.
LIST OF MEMBERS.
church organized June 3, 1858, before that time was a branch
of the Maple
Root Church, from June 3, 1808. The date first given is the date
to the church.
The Baptist Church of East
The History of this church dates from Jan. 30, 1839.
day an Ecclesiatical Council met at the house of Rev. Thomas
to take into consideration the propriety of forming a Baptist
in this village. Delegates were present from two churches
in Providence and
from churches in Westerly, Richmond, Paw-
tucket, Arkwright, Fiskville,
Warwick and East Greenwich. The
Council was organized by the choice of Rev.
John Dowling, D. D.,
as Moderator and Rev. E. K. Fuller,
Seventeen members of Baptist Churches presented their
to the Council together with the articles of Faith and
adopted by them and they were duly recognized and constituted
an Independent Baptist Church. Rev. A. G. Palmer offered the
prayer; Rev. John Dowling preached the sermon; Rev. B.
C. Grafton gave the
prayer of recognition; Rev. B. Johnson the
charge to the church and Rev. J.
W. Allen the concluding prayer
A few weeks afterwards Mrs. Pardon Miller, of
the First Bap-
tist Church, Providence, presented them a communion
The meetings of the church for a number of years were held in
School House, or in the Court House, and were conducted by
Rev. Thomas Tew
and others, until November, 1845, when the Rev.
C. C. Wheeler was called to
April 25, 1846, it was voted to build a Meeting House
feet, at an expense of not less than $3000, which house was
cated Jan., 1847, Rev. T. E. Jameson, of Providence, preaching
Mr. Wheeler was in charge until Nov., 1847. After a
lapse of time Rev. B. F. Hedden was called and continued in
until July, 1851. Doing his pastorate the church was enlarged
pews, a belfry was erected and a fine bell placed in it and Mr.
Gorham, of Providence, gave them a clock.
Since this time the
church has had several pastors until Oct.,
1868, when Rev. Gilbert Robbins
was called and continued to serve
them for more than a decade. Since that
time the church has
frequently changed pastors.
Its present building
is a fine wooden structure and very unique
in its design.
indebted for most of the above facts to Dr. Greene's
History of East
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, EAST
During the year 1831 the Society of Methodists
house of worship on the corner of Main and Queen streets.
vious to this time they held their services in the Court House,
Asylum for all societies who have no church of their own. For a
time they struggled hard for existence, but are now in a very
condition. In 1846 they built a large and convenient
parsonage in the rear of
their church. During the year 1850 they
found their church too small to
accommodate all who wished to at-
tend the services, and that an enlargement
was absolutely neces-
sary. The building was therefore sawed into two parts,
the east end
moved off and a portion inserted large enough to contain
four additional pews. An excellent organ (for the time), the gift
Power Street Church, Providence, was placed in the organ loft.
organ was afterwards removed to the vestry and another
was procured, purchased by the financial
efforts of Dr. Eben
Dr. Tourjee was formerly a resident of East Greenwich, and
a long time the efficient Superintendent of the Sunday School of
The first Methodist sermon preached in Rhode Island was
Charlestown by the Rev. Jesse Lee, then on a missionary tour from
York to Boston, and was delivered on the third of September
Greenwich first appears on the list of appointments in
1792. Up to the year
1807 it formed a part of the circuit connected
with Warren, Warwick and
Providence at different times. Since
1807 it has had a regular
We are endebted to Dr. Greene's History of East
for the above facts.
ST. LUKE'S CHURCH,
There was an Episcopal Church in the vicinity of East
wich where many of our villagers worshipped as long ago as 1728.
was on a lot at Coweset near the railroad station. The ground
on which it
stood is now owned by Mr. Jonathan Pierce. The lot
was conveyed by the Rev.
George Pigot "to the Society in London
for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts," for "erecting
a church according to the establishment of
churches by law in Eng-
When the congregation of Trinity Church
in Newport built
their new church in 1726, "they gave their old church to the
of Warwick, who had no church of their own." It was taken down
carried on sloops to Coweset (the Indian name for that part of
where it was rebuilt. It was two stories in height, with
a steeple or spire
fronting the West Road. After remaining unoc-
cupied a long time in a ruined
state, it was taken down a second
time, about the year 1764, and removed to
Old Warwick. Before
the materials could be removed from the shore a violent
during which they were scattered and lost.
A number of
graves, probably of individuals connected with
the church, are still to be
seen on the lot. The Rev. George Pigot
resided in Warwick a number of years
and owned a large tract of
land near East Greenwich. He probably furnished
the means for
erecting the church. The Rev. Dr. McSparran, Mr.
and others officiated once in a month. It appears the church
never in a very flourishing condition. As Dr. McSparran says in
diary; "Episcopacy never seemed to succeed in the north part
of the State, as
the Quakers and other heretics are the dominant
The Parish of
St. Luke's, East Greenwich, was organized "ac-
cording to the doctrine and
dicipline of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in the State of Rhode Island,"
on the tenth day of August,
A. D., 1833, at a meeting of sundry of the
citizens, at the Kent
Academy, the Rev. Sylvester Nash being Chairman and
Roberts, Secretary. Charles Eldredge and Joseph J.
were chosen Wardens; Daniel Greene, Howland Greene,
Hill, Silas Weaver, Kingsley Bullock, John G. Ladd, Emory
Wanton Casey and William G. Spencer, Vestrymen; Augustus
Treasurer, and John P. Roberts, Secretary.
Services had been held in the
Academy for sometime previous
and they were continued there regularly until
the new church was
consecrated in the April following.
Sylvester Nash was the first Rector and continued
such until the spring of
1840. He died in Wisconsin in 1863. In
May, 1840, Rev. William H. Moore. He
first officiated the second
Sunday of July and continued to be Rector for
about a year.
In December, 1840, Rev. Silas A. Crane was engaged to
during the winter, but remained from that time until his death,
In 1875 the old church was removed and the present
structure erected in its place.
The church under the charge of
Rev. George Pomeroy Allen
and his successor, Rev. Daniel Goodwin, and others,
very flourishing. The church edifice is a beautiful structure and
fine adornment to the village.
We are indebted to Dr. Greene's
History of East Greenwich
for most of the above facts.