Captain John and Sarah Whipple

of Dorchester, Massachusetts & Providence, Rhode Island

Captain John and Sarah Whipple

of Dorchester, Massachusetts & Providence, Rhode Island

Charles M. Whipple, Jr., Ph.D., Ed.D., Litt.D.
Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Philosophy
University of Central Oklahoma
Barbara R. Carroll, B.A.
Genealogical Research Consultant
10 February 2005

This treatise reviews documentation sources and historical literature on Captain John and Sarah Whipple of Dorchester, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island and their immediate descendants. This is the fourth in a series of articles included in a book presently being written by the authors. As such, it is a work in progress. Comments, additions, and documented corrections are solicited. Send to charles@ and/or to brcgenealogy@

Arrival at Dorchester

Early seventeenth century Massachusetts Bay Colony was a two-year-old primitive theocratic settlement of approximately 2000 inhabitants when a teenage youth named John Whipple first set foot on its soil.[ 1 ] Who was he? Where did he come from? Where and how did he live? Who are his descendants? Several generations of antiquarian researchers have left these questions as yet incompletely addressed.

"September 16, 1632, being the Lord's Day. In the Evening Mr. Pierce, in the ship Lyon, arrived and came to an anchor before Boston. He brought 123 passengers including 50 children all in health. He lost not one passenger, save his carpenter, who fell overboard as he was caulking a port. They were 12 weeks abroad. He had five days east wind and thick fog, so as he was forced to come, all that time by the lead, and the first land he made was cape Ann."[ 2 ] This entry in the journal of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, attendant to a list of passengers, included 15-year-old John Whipple as one of the 123 Lyon immigrants. Thus began the continuing history of the Whipple surname in the new world.[ 3 ]

John Whipple of 1632 must not be confused with two middle-aged Whipple brothers, John and Matthew, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1638. There is no known relationship between the teenager John Whipple and the Whipple brothers, who arrived six years later and settled at Ipswich.[ 4 ] The short distance between their settlements meant that the two families would have met very soon after 1638, if they had not already met in the old country. If so, they likely reminisced and told stories about their families left behind in Old England. Natural curiosity would have led them to seek common kinships, perhaps even writing home to ask if someone there knew if, or how, they were related. Perhaps the brothers knew the circumstances that led to the younger John's apprenticeship at an early age, and how difficult it must have been for his parents to see him leave, knowing that they would probably not see their son again. John was apparently apprenticed as a carpenter to a Mr. Israel Stoughton to pay for his passage to the new world.[ 5 ] Records state that on 3 October 1632, "John Wipple and Alex Miller were ordered to pay fines of 3s, 4d to their master Israel Stoughton, for their wasteful expenditure of powder and shot."[ 6 ] The Stoughton family lived near the town of Bocking, England, the town from which the Ipswich brothers are known to have immigrated.[ 7 ] It is not known if John grew up in that area as well.[ 8 ] Neither is it known if he ever returned to Old England for a visit.

One of the present authors engaged the English genealogical firm, Debrett Ancestry Research Limited, to search for a possible relationship between the two Whipple families. Debrett examined the original registers of Bocking for the years 1575- 1632. Gaps exist in the registers: marriage registers are missing for 1575-92; baptisms for 1571-72, 1581-82, and 1606-55. The firm next examined the International Genealogical Index of Essex, with negative results. Research was then extended to the nearby parishes of Rayne, Stisted, Shalford, Halstead and Gosfield, and to the indexes of the Essex probate courts for the period 1600-1635.

A number of Whipples lived in those areas, including Braintree, whose records, unfortunately, do not begin until 1660. Nineteen marriages of Whipples (and the similarly named) between 1538 and 1837 in Essex were found in Boyd's Marriage Index.[ 9 ] (Spelling was until recently not standardized; during the seventeenth century names were spelled inconsistently. Even the educated spelled their names in a variety of ways.) Most Whipples, and those similarly named, lived in a close cluster in the area that surrounds Bocking/Braintree, indicating a possible connection. However, no confirming evidence exists as to whether the 1632 John was related to the Whipples of Bocking. It is assumed that John was born around the year 1617. Debrett uncovered the name of only one individual whose christening was close to that date. His name was John Whaple, baptized 13 December 1618 at Great Waltham, Essex, the son of John Whaple and Mary Collett. As yet, "no firm evidence has emerged which proves beyond doubt that the John baptized in 1618 was either the ancestor or related to the Bocking Whipple family."[ 10 ]

The Apprenticeship Years

John Whipple would have been put to work immediately upon his arrival in Dorchester. Within less than a year, he could have been on the crew that built New England's first mill, as well as a bridge across the Neponset River. This gristmill, called "Stoughton's Mill", was completed in 1634, and conceivably John was one of a privileged few to witness the very first bushel of grain ground by waterpower in the colonies. He likely participated in building the first fish weir that same year.[ 11 ]

Consequent to the mill's completion, it was ordered that a road or "cart way" be laid out from the town to the mill, a route of some four miles made necessarily circuitous due to the area's topography. "When Israel Stoughton set up a grist mill on the Neponset River, a road was built across the 'Great Lots' connecting the original settlement with it. This became known as the Lower Road, now Adams Street."[ 12 ] At present, the shortest distance between them, by way of Dorchester Avenue, is about three miles.

The below photograph is of the Adams Street Bridge. The surrounding buildings are mill offices, the successors to the original Stoughton Mill. In the picture is seen two bridges one on top of the other. The lower bridge is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. A recent article in a local newspaper stated, "One of the region's oldest surviving bridges has been uncovered this month by workers replacing the Adams Street Bridge over the Neponset River on Milton line in Lower Mills. The granite slabs that make up the doubledarched bridge have been ferrying people across the Neponset since 1765- and according to's in better shape than the 1930s-era steel and concreted bridge that was built over its colonial predecessor." The article also alludes to the "needed sandbagging along the raging Neponset to keep the waters from infiltrating their workspace." It likewise mentioned that the sandbagging was needed to, "keep the river's fish from jumping ashore on their upcoming spawning runs upstream...blueback herring, American shad and rainbow smelt are expected to be passing through on their way upstream...[ 13 ] Several wooden bridges prior to 1765 had been used, but the annual freezing and thawing of the river necessitated that they be periodically replaced, including the 1634 and the 1651 bridges that John Whipple probably helped build. The water is still raging, although no longer giving power to the mills, and the types of fish that John Whipple could have caught and sold as a boy still populate the same waters almost 400 years later. In addition to catching, selling, and delivering fish for his master, helping to build the mill and bridge, and assisting in laying out the first road from the church to the mill by way of Neponset Village, John could have participated in digging the first canal in the colony. Another profitable skill he could have acquired as a teenager was that of shipbuilding.[ 14 ]

His would have been a long and difficult struggle to achieve financial success and personal contentment, considering his penury when released from long years of servitude. As an apprentice, he would have been at the bottom of the social class ladder. Undoubtedly life would have been difficult, although he probably ate regularly and had a roof over his head. John and his fellow apprentices may well have lived in a so-called "English Wigwam," which for the lower classes was seen in New England at the time. "The status of a servant may well be shown by the deposition presented in Court at Salem in 1657 by an apprentice in the town of Newbury, who testified that it was a long while before 'he could eate his master's food, viz, meate and milk, or drink beer saying that he did not know that it was good, because he was not used to eat such victualls, but to eate bread and water porridge and to drink water'."[ 15 ] Or John could have lived on the Stoughton homestead, which was located on the northeast corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Pleasant Street.[ 16 ]

The Marriage and Family of John Whipple

John's indenture ended when he was 20 or 21 years of age, at which time he became a freeman and landowner. In time, he acquired between 40 and 50 acres of land. After only a few years in the new world, he was a property owner, a circumstance that would have been next to impossible had he stayed in Old England. At the 2 January 1637 Dorchester town meeting, it was ordered that John Whipple be given "eight acres near Stoughton's mill in the area known as Neponset Village, this grant being in regard of a former promise upon record."[ 17 ]

Within two years or so of becoming a landed proprietor, John was married to the 15 or 16-year-old Sarah They, Darling, or Hutchinson.[ 18 ] When or where Sarah was born is unknown. Information on her gravestone sets her birth at Dorchester in about 1624, but this is unlikely since only Plymouth Colony was in existence at that time. Sarah Whipple, on 29 October 1641, addressed as "Goodwife Whipple," one of the lowest social class distinctions, was admitted to the Dorchester church.[ 19 ] John would have had to be a member by then, as freemen were required to be members of the church.[ 20 ] In addition to the qualification of church membership, all males over sixteen years of age were required to take the "Freeman's Oath," as of 14 May 1634, which contained the pledge, "submitting my selfe to the wholesome laws made and established by the same."[ 21 ] Children of non-church members were not permitted to be baptized and christened.[ 22 ] Uncertainty exists as to the christening date of their first child. The church allowed his mother to join in October of 1641, thus permitting the oldest, John, to be christened three days later, on 1 November 1641. He was at least two years old by then.[ 23 ] Sarah, the second child, was christened three months later, 6 February 1641/42. John and Sarah Whipple had 11 children; nine were born in Dorchester, the others in Providence, Rhode Island.[ 24 ] The death date of the second child, Sarah, is yet being researched. The 1710 date was at the death of her second husband, at which time she was declared to be too aged to handle her own affairs. Nativity and necrology dates of the other children possess a reasonable degree of certitude.

  1. John Whipple (Chr 1 Nov 1641 - 15 Dec 1700)
  2. Sarah Whipple (Chr 6 Feb 1641/42 - Aft 12 May 1710)
  3. Samuel Whipple (Chr 17 Mar 1643/44 - 12 Mar 1710/11)
  4. Eleazer Whipple (Chr 8 Mar 1645/46 - 25 Aug 1719)
  5. Mary Whipple (Chr 9 Apr 1648 - 12 Jul 1698)
  6. William Whipple (Chr 6 May 1652 - 9 Mar 1711/12)
  7. Benjamin Whipple (Chr 4 Jun 1654 - 11 Mar 1703/04)
  8. David Whipple (Chr 28 Sep 1656 - 18 Dec 1710)
  9. Abigail Whipple (Abt 1658 - 19 Aug 1725)
  10. Joseph Whipple (Abt 1662 - 28 Apr 1746)
  11. Jonathan Whipple (Abt 1664 - 8 Sep 1721)

If the Whipple household was typical of the time, John was preoccupied with providing for his family, and Sarah was busily engaged in rearing the children. The amount of formal education the Whipple children received can be only conjectured. Whether a child could read and write was usually a consequence of the degree of literacy possessed by the parents, particularly the mother. Sarah's level of education is unknown, but John could read and write.[ 25 ] Records of deeds and wills show that most of their children were illiterate to the point that they could not write their names. It is unlikely that any of the older boys would have studied at Cambridge College (Harvard University), which began in 1636, because it was founded for the purpose of training the clergy. They could, however, have attended the town's free public school, founded in 1639, the first such in the colonies.[ 26 ] Matters requiring education were usually related to church dogma. Parents, masters, and all others in charge of children were required "to catechize their children, servants, and sound orthodox catechism" so when required, "either in church or privately...shall be judged most conductive to the general good."[ 27 ] Failure to comply resulted in a penalty determined by the court, and neighbors were encouraged to spy on each other.

The Whipple children, in all likelihood, had access to but a few books, at least as they are known today. "During the seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth, the books usually found in the average New England family were the Bible, the Psalm Book, an almanac, the New England Primer, a sermon or two and perhaps a copy of Michael Wigglesworth's horrific poem The Day of Doom...This book expressed the quintessence of Calvinism. John Calvin's theology was based on the belief that all men were born sinners and since Adam's fall, by the will of God, predestined from birth to hell and everlasting torment, unless, happily, one of the elect and so foreordained to be saved. Children could actually be put to death for striking their parents. Even for children, frivolous amusements were forbidden; a curfew was established; and all were constrained to save souls and to labor for material development."[ 28 ] "It may be stated that few books published prior to the nineteenth century had any educational value for children and youth. Exception should be made in favor of the Shorter Catechism and 'Mother Goose Melodies.' The first was unpopular and of little value...The second has been the popular nursery rhyme book for two hundred years and still lives to bless little children. The opening of the nineteenth century revealed an ability of a few men and women to write attractive and healthful reading for children and youth...Concerning school text-books of the early day, little can be said, for they were very few, even into the nineteenth century. A single book would often serve two or three generations of children of the same family, so carefully were those early test books used and handed down from parents to children."[ 29 ] Children often worked six days per week alongside their parents from sunup to sundown, and vacations were practically unknown, thus spending several hours at school each day was out of the question. "The New England Puritans only allowed themselves one full holiday in the course of the year and that was Thanksgiving Day, a time for feasting. To be sure, there was Fast Day in the spring which gave freedom from work; but that was a day for a sermon...The celebration of Christmas was not observed by the true New England Puritan until the middle of the nineteenth century."[ 30 ]

The Whipple family diet would have been limited to home products, fish, and wild game. Butter and cheese were staples. Fruit was not common, except the wild berries and fruit of the forests. Rum brandy, wine, beer, and a little chocolate, were in use among their more well to do neighbors. At a commencement dinner at Harvard, in 1703, four barrels of beer, one of cider and eighteen gallons of wine were served. Because water was not always fresh or pure, the family would likely have consumed mildly alcoholic cider at nearly all their meals. It would have been the unenviable job of the oldest to fill up the cider jug from the cellar every morning. The white potato could not be purchased as yet, but turnips, onions, carrots, and parsnips were readily available. Honey was common. Apple and mince pies were a treat, as were Indian puddings and baked beans with pork, all cooked in their old-style brick oven adjoining the great fireplace, which covered almost one entire wall of the house. If a child had a toothache, tobacco was smoked for relief from the pain.

A Successful Tradesman

When his indenture was over, John paid a high price to stock and maintain his farm. Livestock was scarce and expensive by the time he acquired his own land. Horses were £27, heifers £13, sheep 50s. Cows were £30 to £40 each, a pair of oxen £40. Commodities were also high, including corn at 5s a bushel. At 3s a day, carpenter's wages were sufficient to purchase about a half-bushel of corn. Surplus produce from his farm not sold in Dorchester he likely took to Boston's Thursday market.[ 31 ]

That he was successful is confirmed by the fact that he added substantially to his original allotment of eight acres. A likely extant example of John's craftsmanship is the Barnard Capen house, one of only three surviving seventeenth century houses in Dorchester. It was built around the year 1635 on Washington Street opposite Melville Avenue, but "was moved to Milton about the year 1909."[ 32 ] John most likely helped construct the new Dorchester meetinghouse in 1645. Town residents raised £250 for the edifice, which was located on the site of the old church building on Pleasant Street. A few years later it was moved to Meeting House Hill, about one mile closer to John's property. Additional money was raised to make the "walls decent within and without."[ 33 ] His skills could have been put to good use in building a new bridge over the Neponset River in 1651. This bridge replaced the longtime ferry that had been operated since the settlement began.

In the year of the Capen house's construction, while still a neophyte apprentice carpenter, John would have witnessed a seminal event in the earliest history of American democracy: the founding of the colony of Connecticut. Approximately half of Dorchester's first colonists, representing a significant part of its wealth and intelligence, left to settle in the Connecticut Valley at Windsor near the junction of the Connecticut and Farmington Rivers. This move was forced upon them by the autocratic, imperialistic policies and restrictions on political and personal freedoms imposed by Governor Winthrop and the majority of the colony's clergy. The governor had little regard for the commoner. He wrote, "the best part of the people is always the least, and of that best part, the wiser is always the lesser." His colleague, The Reverend John Cotton, expressed the position of the majority of the colony's leadership when he stated, "Never did God ordain democracy for the government of the church or the people."[ 34 ] Such constraints, repugnant to many Dorchesterites who had left England to escape such repression, caused them to give up five years of hard work to labor in a new wilderness far beyond the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Israel Stoughton's challenge to the magistrate's power to interpret law as they pleased resulted in his disqualification, and he was barred form public office for three years.[ 35 ] It safely can be assumed that John stayed in Dorchester to honor the terms of his indentureship to Stoughton, which was to last for two more years. A severely poverty-stricken state of existence would have lent added weight to his decision to stay put.

Colony records are silent as to whether John participated in the community life of the town. Due to the fact that he was an integral part of the political and social scene in Providence, it may be assumed that he acquired some social and political skills while in Dorchester. He likely was present at the first ever town meeting held in America in 1633, and was undoubtedly aware of the Dorchester Directory, which was read at each town meeting. It provided that every person could speak his mind "meekly and without noise, but should not interrupt another speaker, encourage support of town officers in the execution of their offices, and not fault or revile them for doing their duty..."[ 36 ] However, only twice in almost two decades does John's name appear in public records. As previously noted, "John Whiplle" was the last proprietor to sign a fencing agreement, and he was mentioned in the estate of Edward Bullock probated 29 January 1656, in which it was stated that John was owed 5s for "stockings and a cocke."[ 37 ] His name does not appear on a 1637 list of 104 names "of those that were to have land in ye Division of ye Neck, & other Lands." The same was true in a similar 1641 list of 71 names.[ 38 ]

"Since John Whipple was a young, unmarried servant when he first arrived in Dorchester, we should not be surprised that he does not appear in the records more in the 1630s, but he generated remarkably few records between 1640 and 1658, during which period he lived as a married man in that town."[ 39 ] The factor that eventuated in his abandonment of the colony at the height of his earning power and potential influence may have been the underlying cause of his continued reticence to participate in Dorchester public life. That factor could have been religious heterodoxy.

Arrival at Providence Rhode Island

Documents are uninformative as to when or why John Whipple of Dorchester, Massachusetts first became interested in the place he was to call home for the remainder of his life. Perhaps he had visited Providence before on business or for pleasure. It was known that Dorchester residents had previously relocated there. He may have had prior knowledge concerning the substantial land grants that were soon to be awarded. Was he asked by friends or relatives while still living in Dorchester to become one of fewer than 50 owners or "proprietors"[ 40 ] of the vast expanse of wilderness known as Providence Plantations?[ 41 ] Or was he forced, like The Reverend Roger Williams before him, to flee for his life from Bay authorities?[ 42 ]

Passable roads between the Bay Colony and Providence were practically non existent; consequently, the 11 member Whipple family, plus household goods, farming and carpentry implements, and livestock, would have embarked by boat around Cape Cod, down the coast to Newport, then 20 miles or so up the Narragansett Bay to their destination. The size of the family itself would have had an immediate impact, increasing Town Street's population by about five percent. The very real possibility of psychological trauma, particularly of the children,[ 43 ] caused by interfacing with this unfamiliar environment could have been substantial. They left a wellorganized society of life long-friends, and a free public school. The feeling of personal security was summarily disquieted when their new town leaders voted, 27 January 1660, to pay a substantial fee to anyone who killed a wolf. Dorchester had been, by the mid 1650s, a thriving community of approximately 150 dwellings (750 to 800 inhabitants) with 1500 fruit trees, an abundance of livestock, as well as adequate work with sufficient wages for tradesmen like John.[ 44 ] Surely, to leave such a commodious situation required a higher purpose: freedom of conscience.

As seen on the above map, John had a choice between four "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" settlements: Newport, Portsmouth, Warwick, or Providence. A fifth choice would have been a small settlement on the Pawtuxet River about five miles south of Providence, which was under the political control of Providence. It is generally conceded that Providence was the least desirable of these.[ 45 ] In total, the colony's Caucasian population was only about 1000, with Newport being twice the size of the other plantations. Most of the estimated 200 or so residents of Providence lived in "story and one half," dirt-floored[ 46 ] houses widely scattered along the east side of a two-mile- long dusty, narrow path, called Towne Streete,[ 47 ] which lay between a sea inlet, a shallow salt water cove, a swift running river to the west, and a steeply ascending 200-foot bluff that ran the length of the expanse on the east. Standing on this promontory, looking down on the bucolic scene below for the first time as a middle aged man, John Whipple could not likely have been favorably impressed. He would not have seen a green-lawned courthouse or a parrish church[ 48 ] with its well-manicured graveyard; not even the presence of a rustic schoolhouse could be detected, or the furtive resemblance of a bridge across the river, or the presence of a ubiquitous wharf-- sights to which he had been accustomed in Dorchester.

"During the seventeenth century there was little need of wharves...They were, in fact dependent upon Massachusetts, or upon occasional Dutch traders for nearly all manufactured articles...In revenge for Rhode Island's refusal to expel the Quakers, they threatened to discontinue all intercourse, and thus to deprive Rhode Island of comfortable existence. 'We have not,' said the Rhode Island legislature, 'English coin, but only that which passeth among these barbarians, only corn, cattle, tobacco, and the like, to make payment in, which they (the Massachusetts people) will have at their own rate, or else not deal with us."[ 49 ] With the exception of the town's gristmill at the north end of the street, business enterprises were nowhere in evidence. Far to the west, across the cove and river, could be detected the plowing and tilling of farmers. Young boys were seen tending herds of livestock. And in that direction, as far as the eye could see, mammoth stands of oak and cedar trees and lush meadows were there to be claimed by the right man. Perhaps John felt that he was that man.

The opposite panoramic view of the bluff that over looked John's house, located where the light colored single row apartment building now stands, was taken from the Smith Street[ 50 ] steps of the state capitol building. In his day the capitol area was a lush meadow where cattle were kept. The hillside above John's house would have been heavily forested, fit for logging and orchards only. The laying out of Benefit Street, the first row of houses above the apartment building, 60 years after John's death, necessitated the relocation of the Whipple burial plot to the town's cemetery one mile to the north. All of the land seen in this photograph belonged to Captain John Whipple and/or to one of his sons. Shortly after moving his family to this address, John bought an additional 200 acres in adjoining areas. In front of the house was a dirt path named Towne Streete (now Main) that still runs along side a stream called the Moshassuck River---hidden by the trees at the bottom of the ravine.

It would have been readily apparent that his potential neighbors were living at bare subsistence level, particularly if he were viewing this scene in the year 1658, when the little settlement endured a severe drought. Most of those who had congregated around The Reverend Roger Williams over two decades earlier were poor, unskilled, and undereducated. They were the outcasts of Puritan society. "Among the associates of Williams were no men of wealth, or of much mechanical skill. They were nearly all farmers, and expected to draw their subsistence from the soil. Their dreams of prosperity were of meadowlands, corn fields, and flocks in the valley of the Mooshassuc, and not, like those of the men of Boston, of warehouse and anchorage by the shores of the Bay. They had little beside the household effects which they brought with them and their Massachusetts neighbors did their best to prevent their acquiring more."[ 51 ]

Population growth had stagnated. Many of the original inhabitants had moved about five miles to the south to establish a sister settlement on the Pawtuxet River. Others had simply become disenchanted and relocated elsewhere in the colony. Several of the original home lots had been abandoned for years, leaving houses, gardens, and orchards in ruin. "It will be sufficient to observe that the old townsmen gave no cordial welcome to emigrants, and offered them no invitation by the establishment of schools, or other means of improvement. They were satisfied to remain a closed corporation. The descendants of the settlers held fast by the home lots of the town street, with the tenacity which in that age characterized the owners of ancestral property. Few new comers could gain a foothold in the town."[ 52 ]

"Providence grew very slowly. In 1638 there were only twenty families, about 100 persons; in 1645, about fifty families or 250 persons; in 1675, perhaps 350 to 400 persons. This slow growth resulted in part from fear of the Indians; in part from the instability produced by internal quarrels among the settlers; and in part from the fact that the radical principles upon which Providence was founded appealed only to the ultra- Puritans or more eccentric and bold Englishmen an Englishwomen of that day. Williams said frankly that his purpose in founding the colony was to create a free community of seeker after truth and a haven for those persecuted elsewhere for their conscientious beliefs."[ 53 ] He paid scant attention to their educational level or vocational skills. "For the first time in human history State had wholly been dissociated from Church in a commonwealth not utopian but real. For the first time the fundamental idea of modern civilization---that of rights of man as a being responsible primarily to God and not to the community---had been given an impulse powerful and direct.[ 54 ]

"Inordinately slow was the town in taking the first step (toward growth). Down to 1740 or 1742 it was still, as in the seventeenth century, but a long, straggling street by the water front, where on summer evenings the inhabitants sat in their doorways, smoked their clay pipes, and fought the swarms of mosquitoes that rose from the marsh opposite...The town was agricultural and agricultural the proprietors were determined that it should remain."[ 55 ]

As to why the citizens of Providence would relent long enough to allow a middleaged housewright from the distrusted Bay Colony to join their "closed corporation" is a centuries old conundrum. That information has long since been lost in the mists of time. Not every one who petitioned, even those suffering from severe religious oppression, was admitted into a full share of the town's largess. These were called "quarter-rights men" or simply, freeholders. By means of a lifetime of hard work, John obviously acquired a substantial estate, "much larger than the average purchaser."[ 56 ] By some estimates, he could have been one of the wealthiest men in Providence in 1659. It is possible that town leaders realized the wisdom of admitting someone of John's training and years of experience in carpentry and bridge building. There is no indication in town records that anyone from that trade had resided in Providence before John Whipple.[ 57 ] One of his first jobs as a new resident was to help build and later repair the town's first bridge over the Moshassuck River.[ 58 ]

The Religion of John and Sarah Whipple

The large and growing Whipple family moved to Providence because John wanted more land, and the town needed his skills and money. This is a plausible scenario. But it, by itself, could not likely have provided the decisive impetus to embark on such a drastic life-altering metamorphosis, considering the severity of the malevolent consequences that would have ensued. Unless there had been a stronger, more urgent reason, acquisitiveness would probably not have been enough to counter the personal and social stigma that would have attached to such a decision. The divulgence that he was even contemplating such an ill-advised move would have made him suspect. To do so would have resulted in social disgrace for the entire family. Close relatives would have had to disown and vilify them. Their church would have ostracized them. Moreover, it is entirely feasible that the members of the John Whipple family were forced to leave their comfortable home of over 25 years because they had already been ostracized. To become anathema to their life long neighbors and friends could only have been the result of virulent prejudous. The sacrament of baptism/christening would have been denied their children, which may have happened in the case of their youngest daughter born about 1657/58. The Whipples had rejected the religion and/or political leadership of their neighbors, magistrates, and the clergy, so they in turn were rejected. Theirs would have been a desperate flight to find freedom of conscience, even if it meant moving to Rhode Island.[ 59 ] And the only place in the New England colonies to find such, in the year 1658, was Rhode Island.[ 60 ]

The oppression, which drove the family into exile, was deeply rooted in historical circumstances. The religion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was Puritanism, the only form of Christianity in which John and his family would have been allowed to officially partake. During mandatory Sabbath services, they would have heard that there was but one true church, and that that church was the Congregational, or "New England Way." Sermons told of unbelievers in a faraway place called Providence, led by a man who had been excommunicated from their midst some years before. This Providence, they were told, was a "cesspool of sinners, a vile receptacle of all sorts of riff-raff people that is nothing else but a sewer. It was the asylum for all that are disturbed, a hive of hornets, and the Sinke into which all the Rest of the Coloneys empty their Hereticks."[ 61 ] Perhaps John's younger children cringed with fear when hearing that in the dreadful time at the end of the world, their new home would be none other than hell itself. In summary, no one likely moved to Rhode Island unless he or she was forced to do so.

It would be instructive to learn the circumstances that surrounded the Whipple's decision to reject their life long religious beliefs and practices.[ 62 ] Itinerant Anabaptist preachers from England were not an uncommon sight, even in Dorchester.[ 63 ] However, the preponderance of circumstantial evidence suggests that the Whipples at least sympathized with the Society of Friends. However, it is just as conceivable that Captain John could have become disenthralled with religion in general. As it is true in the twenty first century, so then--- freedom of religion is often freedom from religion. "An oftenheard criticism of Rhode Island was that much of its citizenry held to no particular religion at all.[ 64 ] "The records of the town would seem to indicate that the early inhabitants were not of a kind whom church-going was a necessity."[ 65 ]

They undoubtedly heard about, or witnessed, the heresy trial and banishment of the proto-Quaker Anne Hutchinson, as well as the later trial of her sister Catherine Scott, a noted Baptist convert to the Society of Friends. "John Winthrop, the political king of Boston, and Rev. John Wilson, its ecclesiastical Bishop, were opposed to Mrs. Hutchinson's doctrine, known by the hard and today meaningless name, 'Antinomian.' The debate...set all of Boston on fire...banishment was the only means of saving the Puritan Church and State...."[ 66 ] She and several followers moved to Aquidneck Island, later called Rhode Island, in 1638. Further fear of Boston enticed her to flee, in 1643, to what is now the Bronx, New York, near the Hutchinson River, where she was slain in an Indian uprising. Most of those who followed her to Rhode Island had become Quakers within less than 10 years. "In the 1650s, the new Quaker doctrines were imported into Newport from Boston. They seemed compatible with much of what Anne Hutchison had taught, and Quakerism quickly became the most important denomination on Aquidneck."[ 67 ]

Catherine Marbury Scott lived in Providence, where she had fled to escape Massachusetts. It was Catherine who convinced Roger Williams in 1639 to establish the first Baptist church in America, although Williams left the church within four months, and Catherine soon converted to Quakerism. She and her husband Richard, who lived next door to Williams, were the grandparents of two of John's step grandchildren through his eldest son. The Scotts were a constant irritation to Williams, being the first converts to Quakerism in Providence.

"After the arrival of the Quaker ship Woodhouse in Newport in the summer of 1657, missionary evangelists of the new sect fanned out in all directions... It was not long before some of these zealous people decided to invade Massachusetts to preach their views and denounce the laws against Quakers. A widow, Harrod Garner from Newport, was given ten May 1658 for that offense. A month later Thomas Harris and another Rhode Islander went to Boston and denounced the sermon after Sabbath servce. Both were whipped and imprisoned. In September, Catherine Scott, who had given up the Baptist faith to become a Quaker, received the same treatment. She was told that if she came back again she might be hanged. In 1659 William Robinson and Marmakuke Stephenson were hanged on Boston Commons...Not before 1672 were Quakers allowed to preach in Boston without arrest."[ 68 ]

Typical of the religious atmosphere, the heretic Samuel Gorton was arrested in Rhode Island and paraded down the main street of Dorchester in chains, a sight the Whipples could not have missed.[ 69 ] Conceivably John was in church on that Sunday morning in the summer of 1658 when Thomas Harris of Providence, the father-in-law to be of his son Samuel, criticized the sermon and was summarily whipped and imprisoned.[ 70 ] The final straw might have fallen on 19 October 1658, when Massachusetts enacted a law banishing all Quakers upon pain of death.[ 71 ] Within less than one month of that proclamation, 15 November 1658, John sold his property to George Minot, and began preparations to leave, thus making a public declaration, if he had not done so already, of his decision to renounce the religion of his childhood. The deed reads in part: "John Whiple...carpenter...his now dwelling house and housements scituate and being in Dorchester near the river Naponset together with thirty-seven acres of upland more or less thereto adjoining, also eight acres of salt marsh more or less lying near the place commonly called the penny ferry."[ 72 ]

On the map above, John's property letter "C" would have been to the right, or east, of the mill and bridge letter "A" at Adams Street, and near the penny ferry letter "B" in an area called "The Neck." At least some of his property was located on the river itself, eight acres of "salt marsh near the ferry." This ferry operated from a point somewhere between the present Adams Street Bridge and the Granite Avenue Bridge on what is now the north shore of the Neponset River State Reservation.[ 73 ] The village of Neponset, not seen on this map, was located about one half mile to the northeast at the mouth of the river. The Stoughton Mill area is now called the Lower Mills district.

Having witnessed the unconscionable hanging of two Rhode Island Quakers, which occurred earlier in the same year that he was approved as a Providence purchaser,[ 74 ] could only have strengthened his resolve to escape the same fate. Was it mere coincidence that less than one month after the law was enacted that mandated the death sentence for members of the Quaker faith, the Whipples sold everything they possessed and promptly moved to the only safe haven in New England for members of that sect? Massachusetts authorities were totally consumed with the Quaker issue in the 1650s; the few newly arrived Anabaptists from Old England, who differed from them primarily on the doctrine of adult baptism, were largely ignored for the time being. As far as is known, none of the Whipples returned to their former home.

Consequent to becoming ensconced in his new home, John's religious and/or political preferences became non-issues. Due to laws that mandated separation of church and state, early town records were strictly secular in nature, and parrish membership records from that early date are absent or incomplete.[ 75 ] It has been assumed that John and Sarah were Baptists, based on the observation that "their children married into families that held the same beliefs as Roger Williams."[ 76 ] However, as shown herein, their children and grandchildren married into families of both Quaker and Baptist communions.[ 77 ] The John Whipples are not mentioned in the membership records of the Baptist church in Providence. A proffered document entitled "John Whipple on the Baptist Church" has apparently become lost or misplaced.[ 78 ] There is no proof that John Whipple Senior or Junior wrote the document. He may have at one time preached at a Baptist house church some where along Town Street or held some other ecclesial post, in that educational qualifications for the Baptist and Quaker clergy or lay clergy were nonexistent, if not in fact discouraged at the time.[ 79 ]

The photograph above is that of the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Providence, its predecessor being built about 50 years after Captain John's death. Extant records of the church commence about the year 1755; therefore, there is no way to know if seventeenth century Whipples were members. The first listed Whipple communicant dates from 1764. In contradistinction to earlier claims, the religious preference of Captain John Whipple cannot at this time be determined with a sufficient degree of certitude.

A Member of the Landed Gentry

In a deed dated 23 November 1663, Captain John Whipple wrote that he owned the former Towne Streete property of Francis Wickes.[ 80 ] A deed drawn by Benedict Arnold, former governor of the colony, on 10 September1666 averred that he, Arnold, had sold four home lots, including those of John Greene Junior, Benedict Arnold, Francis Wickes, and William Arnold to John Whipple in 1661. According to his testimony, the "towne granted it to me above Twenty yeares agone. I Benedict Arnold haveing sold the PremiSes to him about five yeares agone."

Due to its historical significance, this deed, which is over 1500 words in length, is discussed in some detail. Several important place names are mentioned.

"This deed beareing date the Tenth day of September in the Eighteenth yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraine Charles the Second King of England Scotland France & Ireland &c. That I Benedict Arnold of Newport, in ye Collony of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations in New England & (Sen) for good causes hereunto me moveing; And ffor & in ConSideration of NineScore Pounds Current pay of this Collony in hand Received before the Signeing & Whole Right ye said Towne to me Granted ...; The promised Percells hereby Sold, being as followeth; That is to say, ffowre houSelots or homeShares containeing in the whole Six & Twenty Rod be it More or less on ye west party & as Much on ye EaSt party; & one hundred & Twenty Rod in length be it More or less on ye South party, & and as Much on ye North party; Bounded on ye North party by ye Common & partly by ye howSe lot of Edward Manton, & on ye East by the HighWay or Common, & on ye South by land now in the PossesSion of John Throckmorton (Sen) & on the West by the Streete, or Way leadeing into Towne &c; All Which Sd ffowre Lotts together with howSeing, fenceing & other improvements thereupon Wholy Sold unto John Whipple aforesaid excepting about Two Acres lieing on the South Side toward the East...sold to Thomas Olney. Moreover, the percells of land that are hereafter mentioned are togethere with ye foresaid Howselotts Sold & by these present Made over unto ye above Said John Whipple; That is to Say, one low plot of ground Containeing about Nine Rod of land as it Was by me fenced in many years agone, lieing below the Streete betweene ye Forsd howSelots & ye River below the Mill; Bounded round by ye StreetWay & ye Common..."[ 81 ]

It is reasonable to assume that the Whipples lived from 1659 to 1661 in the abandoned house of William Arnold, empty since 1651, the house and land John eventually deeded to John Junior.[ 82 ] In addition to the Town Street property, John bought several other parcels of land from Arnold at that same time. He bought five tracts of land of five or six scattered acres in such places as "what cheare bounded on the east by the salt water that goeth up towards Pawtucket falls, etc." Also, "five acres more or less lieing under the hill on the SouthWard side of WeyboySett above ye Bridge... And "one Percell of land to ye north End of Rockey Nooke." Also, "six acres at Solitary Hill near the forementioned River Called WanasSquatucket." Also, "land granted & once laid out to Me on the East Side of the fresh Pond Called MaShapagne" and "Small brooke." John bought an additional two parcels of 60 acres, and two of about 20 acres each. In total, the deed shows that he purchased over 180 acres soon after his arrival in Providence, in addition to the 40 or so acres that the house lots and common encompassed. The deed acknowledged that John had already sold or traded some of the property. However, a few tracts are mentioned in his last will and testimony. " In 1659, came John Whipple from Massachusetts. He purchased nearly the whole tract eastward of that part of Town street (Constitution Hill)."[ 83 ] John bought four lots, about 175 yards of land, along Town Street. Each lot of five acres extended up and over a steep hill[ 84 ] to New Hope Street on the east, a distance of about one-half mile. In addition to these lots, he would have been entitled to approximately 25 acres of planting or grazing land north and eastward of Hope Street.

The June 2004 photograph below, taken from the rear of an apartment building that now occupies the spot where the Whipple house would have stood (about 50 yards north of Star Street), shows the incline of the hill on the Whipple property. Other areas of the incline rise from an angle of 45 degrees to about 60 degrees. A terraced area immediately to the top of the photograph, on what is now Benefit Street, would have held the family burial plot. The laying out of this street in the mid 1700s caused the Whipples, and about 50 other families, to move their ancestors' graves to the North Burial Ground.

That the Whipple family moved in immediately is evident in a reference to John that appeared in town records in early 1660/61, and his oldest daughter, Sarah, married in 1659 or early 1660. She married into the Smith family, owners of the Smith Mill immediately to the northwest (on the map below) of John's property. John's youngest daughter, Abigail, married the son of The Reverend Gregory Dexter, his immediate neighbor to the north. His middle daughter, Mary, married into The Reverend Thomas Olney Senior family (first house south of Gaol Lane), as did John Junior.[ 85 ] John Junior's second wife was the widow of Richard Scott's son, the immediate neighbor to the south of the Whipple property. Sons number three and six, Eleazer and Benjamin, married daughters of Thomas Angell (second house south of Gaol Lane). Joseph, Captain John's seventh son, married a granddaughter of the Angells. Samuel, John's second son, married into the Thomas Harris family (fourth house south of Powers Lane) and bought the property of Roger Mowrey, (first house at the top of the map).

By virtue of his new status as a part owner of Providence Plantations, within two years of his arrival, John received a grant of land in an area called the "north woods" or Louquisset.[ 86 ] This property, located eight to ten miles north of the settlement, was given, by deed and will, to his four oldest sons.[ 87 ] In terms of land acquisition, the move to his new home was fortuitous. He became a proprietor two months after the General Assembly gave the town its permission to "buy out and clear out" the Indians within plantation territory and purchase adjacent lands. His fellow proprietors, on 27 July 1662, gave him permission to exchange his sixty acres at Mashapauge Pond for additional land at Loquasqussuk.[ 88 ] John also participated in the awarding of at least three other land grants. On 19 February 1665/6, he drew lot #45 in the division of lands east of the 7 mile line [an arbitrary line 7 miles west of Providence].[ 89 ] The surveyor described this property as located " the sowth ind by the Wenasketukit [Woonasquatucket] River the sowthermost corner a whit oak the norard Cornar a Small roack ranged with agreet whit oke three or fowar poll from the roack the estar Cornar a whit oke the sowth est Cornar by the river a black it mor or less laid by me Thomas harris Savaire."[ 90 ] John promptly traded some of this grant at the "Tare Breech Plain" on 13 November 1666.[ 91 ] John drew lot #43 in the lands on the west side of the seven-mile line on 12 April 1675.[ 92 ] In his last land grant of 24 May 1675, he drew lot #91 on the east side of the seven-mile line.[ 93 ] He was subsequently given permission to change a 50-acre division of upland later that year.[ 94 ] John also petitioned for a small piece of land next to his new orchard on Towne Streete in February of 1661.[ 95 ] And on 6 June 1681, he was granted permission to exchange his twenty-five acres at Goatum Valley "which he bought of Mr. Benedict Arnold."[ 96 ]

The twenty-acre homestead on Town Street, plus twenty-four acres of commoning, that the Whipple family purchased from Benedict Arnold may have been devoid of structures, and its farm fields and orchards overgrown. Early on, the Wickes family had become converts to the religious teachings of a man named Samuel Gorton, who banned by at least two other local settlements, had tried to settle in Providence. "When Gorton applied to the town for admission as a voter and landholder (or freeman) in May 1641, the town denied his request, calling him, 'an insolent, railing and turbulent person.' They also excluded from town fellowship Gorton's followers, John Wickes and Randall Holden."[ 97 ] The Wickes family, following Gorton, eventually settled in what is now the town of Warwick, Rhode Island in the mid-1640s. The Arnolds and Greenes moved to the Pawtuxet River area in 1638 and the early 1640s. Benedict Arnold eventually moved to Newport, and was the colony's governor at the time he sold Captain John the north Main properties.

The June 2004 photograph below is of the present state of the four lots on Constitution Hill looking northeast from the northeast corner of Main Street and Star Street. This newly-constructed single row of eight two-story condominiums stand at the bottom of a sharply rising hill, with Main Street to the left. The original Main (or Towne) Street was much narrower when the Whipples lived there.[ 98 ] The John Whipple house was long the oldest house in Providence, finally demolished shortly before WWII to allow for the widening of Main Street into four lanes. His house/inn, at 369 North Main, would have stood about 50 yards north of the south end of the condominium complex (on the right of the photograph) and toward the front, where Main street now traverses. The inn/tavern of Mary Whipple Olney (Johns second daughter) was located about two blocks up this street. The ascending street to the right is Star Street, where Whipple Hall schoolhouse was located.[ 99 ] John Whipple Junior's house stood at this intersection. The street to the left is Mill (now James) Street, on which the John and Sarah Smith (Captain John's oldest daughter) gristmill, and home, was located, as well as the tavern/inns of John Junior and Joseph


Previously in the possession of absentee landowners for well over a decade, their new acreage likely demanded much of the Whipple family. Restoration and expansion of the property was first priority. As a result, John appears infrequently in town records for the first three years or so. The first record of community activity in the settlement occurred in January 1660/61, when as a surveyor, he "laid out 5 acres of low land for Thomas Clemance." This was recorded on 27 January 1660/61.[ 100 ] He was called upon to serve on a committee to collect taxes later that year. At a town meeting 26 March 1660/1661, it was ordered that "a rate of 35 pounds after peage, 8 penny shall be levied upon this towne to pay toward the colony prison."[ 101 ]

Not until 1663 is John seen as more than tangentially involved in community affairs. In that year, he served as a juryman on two occasions, and was a committee member twice, one committee concerned with property boundaries and the other with building a new towne house.[ 102 ] The year 1663 saw the first of eight deeds recorded to his sons, when he deeded to "my son John Whipple a houselot formerly owned by William Arnold excepting two acres, two shares of meadow, six acres of upland, sixty acres of land at Loquasqussuck..." The only known extant handwriting of John Whipple Senior appears in this document.[ 103 ]

In 1664, John again entered town records when his neighbors called upon his training and experience as a carpenter. Four years earlier, the town council had overseen the building of its first ever bridge. Three years later, the bridge had to be rebuilt. Then at a Quarter Court 27 January 1664, it was ordered that "John Whipple Senr. Be sent for to confer with the moderator, Mr. William Field, about mending the bridge." A subsequent agreement was made between Thomas Harris Sr. and Valentine Whitman, acting for the town, and John Whipple. With the help of two other men, John was hired to do the work.[ 104 ] Then three years later, 28 October 1667, five persons were chosen "to view the bridge...and to consider of the most easy and facill way to repair it so that the passage may not be lost." John Whipple and Roger Williams were members of the committee.[ 105 ]

It would be informative, as well as interesting, to know something of John's everyday experience as a carpenter. However, as seen above, only on rare occasions were the services of tradesmen required on public projects. Fortunately, the contract wages John charged, and some of the tools used, are known. Early town records include an undated estimate in John's own writing on constructing a leanto: "To making of ye leanto and work about it, 06-00-00. To making of ye seller roof and shingling it, 01-05-00. To making of a door and shelves in ye leanto, 0-80-6." Among his tools were a froe, a Rye bit, iron square, small jointer, carving tool, axe, clearing plane, whetting steel, wimble stock and bits, soding iron, compasses, and brass rule for a chalk line.[ 106 ]

The Captain John Whipple Inn

"Taverns, inns or ordinaries, were words used interchangeably in early New England to designate public houses where meals, liquors and lodgings could be obtained at reasonable prices. These places ranged from a single room with a bar, a chair and a hard board bed, to larger houses, with accommodations for a number of persons of both sexes, where meals and comfortable lodgings could be had, with a bar to supply all tastes with liquors of all grades. Taverns existed in England from the thirteenth century, and crossed the water with the Pilgrim and Puritan founders. Children and servants (and Indians) were not allowed to drink at taverns...profane singing, dancing, and reveling were forbidden."[ 107 ] A Bed and Breakfast Inn, with liquor privileges, would be its modern equivalent.

"John Whipple Senior was one of the most competent inn holders in Rhode Island. Because of the staid and sober character of the Whipple Inn and its central location it was a favorite meeting place for the Town Council and Court of Probate. The October 1690 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly met at the Whipple Inn."[ 108 ] As shown herein, present research reveals the above to be overstated, if not romanticized. The possibility has been broached that John may have acquired an initial pecuniary interest in licensing his own inn as early as 1670. At a town council meeting on 6 June 1670, John Whipple Senior "is paid 10 shillings for holding the town meeting in his house." By the next time the council met at his house, the amount paid was increased to 20 shillings.[ 109 ]

At least three of John Whipple's children (John Junior, Joseph, and Mary Whipple-Olney), as well as at least two grandsons (John III and James Olney) and one step grandson (Sylvanus Scott), were actively involved in that business for a half-century and more. John Junior established his own inn by special request of the town, because the needs of its citizenry were not being adequately met,[ 110 ] three years before his father's death. Ostensibly, John Senior's inn, which had begun in 1674,[ 111 ] no longer actively operated and probably had not for several years. This is understandable, considering the devastation that resulted from the Indian war that started within a year after he opened his doors for business. By the time the war had ended and residents began to trickle back late in 1677, and the long years of recovery required to rebuild or repair almost half the houses in the settlement had passed, John had but five or six years to live. Although John's property was spared destruction, the Indians had stolen everything that was not burned. When he died in 1685, "he left a large property in land, but the means at his disposal 'for entertainment of strangers'...was scanty. He had one feather bed, seven pewter platters, five pewter porringers, three old spoons, one old red blanket, and [three chairs and a decayed old warming pan]..."[ 112 ] Most of what has been penned about the socalled "staid" Captain John Whipple Inn, located at 369 Main Street, should have been attributed to his children's taverns instead, John Junior's in particular, located approximately one block or so to the north on Mill Street. John Whipple III inherited his father's inn in the year 1700 and continued its history for several more years. The Olney Inn existed until the Revolutionary War. The Joseph Whipple family continued in the business until at least 1740.[ 113 ]

"As Providence increased in size and importance more strangers had occasion to visit the town, and it became necessary to provide for their comfort and entertainment. In the earliest days the only lodgings available for visitors were in private houses and, as the accommodations of few of those houses exceeded two rooms, the guest quarters were neither sumptuous nor particularly private. The first tavern on the Town Street of which there is record was the one opened by John Whipple in 1674, halfway up Constitution Hill. This was followed by another, immediately north of the home lots, maintained by Epenetus Olney. In a more secluded spot some distance to the north (Abbott Street) Roger Mowry had, for some years, conducted an 'ordinaire' in a house, erected in 1653" [bought by Samuel Whipple in 1671].[ 114 ] A more in-depth discussion of the Whipple inns is presented in the chapter on John Whipple Junior.

Conflict with The Reverend Roger Williams

"...John Whipple was received as an inhabitant in Providence, purchased a Proprietors' share and soon became a leading citizen and a zealous supporter of Harris and Olney. Williams says that he was a constant speaker in town meetings and evidently regarded him as one of his chief opponents...It seems probable that Williams addressed his letters to Whipple, that they might become more widely known in what was then the chief club house of the village..."[ 115 ] For over a century, this or similar statements have been iterated and reiterated in numerous publications by various antiquarian researchers. It may well be that Roger Williams did not see eye to eye with Captain John Whipple Senior as to the logistics of ethical land acquisition. However, in the instance below his verbal conflict was not with the elder Whipple.[ 116 ]

Less than a decade after arriving in Providence as a teenager, the youthful John Whipple Junior became a major participant in a protracted verbal and legal conflict over Indian land. Early on, John Junior allied himself with his wife's father, Thomas Olney, his brother Samuel's wife's uncle, William Harris, and William Arnold, his sister Abigail Hopkins husband's uncle. These men were the leaders of a consortium of proprietors who had for years sought to extend the plantation's boundaries westward for some 20 miles, allowing them to create vast land holdings exclusively for themselves.[ 117 ] Roger Williams opposed the plan. The ensuing legal wrangling lasted well into the next century, long after the combatants had died.[ 118 ]

The letters in question, which Williams addressed to John Junior in July and August of 1669, were a virtual diatribe against the personality and moral rectitude of the young man, not his father.[ 119 ] Although the outcome of the various lawsuits went against the Harris, Olney, Arnold, and Whipple family syndicate, a great deal of land still came into the possession of their descendants. In the case of the Whipple family, by the year 1700, several descendants had moved onto the generally disputed areas of Cranston, Scituate, Coventry and West Warwick under such surnames as Arnold, Harris, Rhodes, Rice, and Whipple.[ 120 ] A more in-depth examination of these letters is attempted in the chapter on John Whipple Junior.

John's Honorary Military Rank

In the April 1676 meeting of the town council, John was elected moderator; he had been elected to the council at least twice before.[ 121 ] By that time, King Philip's War had been raging for almost a year. Less than one month earlier, Providence had been attacked and burned, its livestock stolen or killed, and its fields of spring crops destroyed. It is assumed that the April meeting was held at John's house, attended by some of the two dozen or so who were left in town, because his house was one of only a few that had been spared on the north end of Town Street. A few days before the attack, most of the town's residents had fled to Aquidneck Island for safety. Apparently each head of household was given the option to stay and defend the settlement; John Whipple Senior, Roger Williams, and two dozen others elected to stay.[ 122 ] The Indians had previously informed Williams, "Brother Williams, you are a good man, you have been kind to us many years; not a hair of your head shall be touched."[ 123 ] Apparently, that caveat applied to his sequestered colleagues in arms as well. Because of this act, John was listed among those who "stayed and went not away" and as such was entitled to Indian slaves.[ 124 ] He was subsequently appointed to a committee in October of that year to "demand & receaue at euery Garrison what was taken from yee Indians."[ 125 ] In 1679, the Rhode Island General Assembly, in which he served as a deputy that year, appointed him to a committee to give a final report on the Indian uprising.[ 126 ] The quasi-military designation "Captain" was used for the first time in this document.

Last Will and Testament

In his Last Will and Testament, dated 8 May 1682 and proved 27 May 1685, John Whipple Senior of Providence wrote:

"Be it known to all persons to whom this may come, that I, John Whipple of the town of Providence, in the colony of Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, in New England ('Sen.") being in good measure of health, and in perfect memory, upon consideration of mortality, not knowing the day of my death, and having many children, and to prevent difference that otherwise may hereafter arise among them concerning my worldly estate, do see cause to make my will and do hereby dispose of all my estate in this world and do make my last Will and Testament.

"Having formerly given unto three sons, all of my lands and meadows in Louisquisset, namely, Samuel, Eleazer and William equally to be divided among them three only; excepting thirty acres, which I give unto my son John, at the North West End.

"I give unto my three aforesaid sons, namely, Samuel, Eleazer and William, each of them, a quarter part of one right of Common, for pasturing, cutting of timber, and firewood.

"I give unto my son Benjamin a right of land in the late division which is already made out to him.

"I give unto my son David a right of land in the late division which is already made out to him.

"I give unto my son Jonathan twenty-five acres on which he now dwelleth, also I give unto my son Jonathan one division of land which is ordered by the town to be laid out between the 'seven-mile line' and the 'four-mile line' and papers already drawn for.

"I give unto my son Joseph, my dwelling-house, and my three house-lots, and the garden next; also a six-acre lot lying on the southern side of the neck whereupon the town of Providence standeth; also twenty acres near Thomas Clemens, his dwelling; also I give unto my son Joseph my share of meadow near Solitary Hill, and the two six-acre lots, lying on each side of said Hill; also a six-acre lot, near William Wickenden formerly dwelt; also one division lying on the 'seven-mile line', which is already ordered by the town and papers drawn for; also I give unto my son Joseph, all other divisions which shall hereafter belong unto two rights throughout.

"I give unto my sons, namely John, Samuel, Eleazer, William, Benjamin, David and Jonathan twelve pence every one of them.

"I give unto my three daughters, namely, Sarah, Mary, Abigail, unto everyone of them, ten shillings.

"I give unto my son Joseph, all of my right of land in the Narragansett country. I give unto my son Joseph, all my movable goods, of what sort soever and all my cattle, and all my tools; also I do make my son Joseph my executor; also my will is that my son Joseph do see that I be decently buried; this being the real absolute Will and Testament of the John Whipple Sen; as aforesaid, I do hereunto set my hand and seal, this eight day of May, in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-two.

Signed and sealed in the presence of

Thomas Arnold
John Arnold
Shadrach Manton
Witness my hand
John Whipple L.S.[ 127 ]
"I, Thomas Arnold, and John Arnold, the 27th day of May, in the year 1685, did upon these solemn engagements declare that they are witnesses unto the above will, and as these names so are there written do own it to be their hand. Shadrach Manton the 27 day of May, 1685, in the presence of the Magistrates and rest of the Council, full and truly declare that he is witness to the above will, and that he with his own hand wrote his name there unto, as, attest, Arthur Fenton, Assistant.

"Joseph Whipple did upon the 27th day of May 1685 in the presence of the Council as he is Executor of the Testament upon his solemn engagement testify and declare that this is the last Will and Testament of his deceased father as ever yet perfected as he knoweth of and that he when he made it, was of sound mind, and of a good memory.
Taken before us

Arthur Fenner
Joseph Jencks

Thomas Olney deposed that he had gone to John Whipple, at his request, and obtained clarification of some of the bequests.[ 128 ] The inventory of Captain John Whipple Senior was taken 22 May 1685 and totaled a little more than £41, excluding real estate.[ 129 ]

The unexpectedly penurious amount of £41 in worldly goods is informative if not enigmatic, until it is understood that almost everything John owned apparently had already been distributed to his children, who had long since established homes of their own. He had lived as a widower for almost two decades by then; accordingly his creature comforts were minimal---two beds, three chairs, and one old warming pan....[ 130 ] Another unexpected revelation is the smallness of his residence, considering the size of the family. "The houses upon the 'towne streete' during the first generations were of a story or a story and a half in height, with a large stone chimney at one end. In the earliest days of the town its houses had but two rooms, called in the Probate documents, the 'lower room' and the 'chamber.' The space did not always permit the luxury of stairs, and the only ascent to the chamber was often by a ladder. These humble dwellings were nearly universal until the last decade of the seventeenth century---the poverty which followed the Indian war delaying the period of improvement. In such a house lived John Smith the miller [and his wife Sarah, John's daughter] and the Town Clerk. The house of John Whipple, one of the chief landholders of his day, stood near the foot of Constitution hill. It was one of the first which was rebuilt after Philip's war. It appears by the proceedings upon his will (which bears date 8th May, 1682) that his house had only a lower room and a chamber above.[ 131 ] This was also the primitive farm house of the Plymouth colony. A few houses had two rooms upon the floor, sometimes called in the inventories, the 'inner' and the 'outer' room. Thomas Olney, Senr., [fatherin- law of two of John's children] had a 'parlour,' 'kitchen,'and 'chamber.' He had also a larger personal estate than most of his neighbours."[ 132 ]

Above is an artist's rendering as to how the exterior of the Whipple house would have appeared in the mid 1660s shortly after the family had settled into daily life in their new home. The interpretation is based on knowledge of mid to late seventeenth century construction practices and of John's inventory of movable goods. Due to the family's apparent wealth and John's carpentry skills, the house likely could have been more substantial than others on Town Street. The front of the house, which would have faced south, could have been more elaborate than was usual at that time.

Death and Burial

Captain John Whipple died 16 May 1685. The inscription on his headstone indicates that he was about 68 years old. John's first 15 years or so were spent at an unknown location somewhere in Old England; there followed a half century lived in New England, equally divided between Dorchester, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island. His wife, whose place of birth is unknown, died in 1666 at the age of about 42. Their children had all reached adulthood by the time of John's death. John Junior was the oldest at 45, Jonathan, 21, the youngest. Only Joseph 85, and Eleazer 74, lived a longer life than had their father. Their children eventually produced 77 offspring: 37 grandsons and 40 granddaughters. Of the grandsons, 24 bore the Whipple name, making his Whipple descendants the most numerous of the three Whipple men who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630s.

John and Sarah were laid to rest in their own garden burial lot, as was customary at the time. "Every home-lot had its orchard, about haft way up the eastern hillside. There, but a few paces from their homestead, were the graves of the household. The family allotment soon became alike their birth and burial places. There was no anticipation of modern sanitary ideas, and the funeral march was a long and dreary one, for, until a comparatively recent date, the corpse was carried forth upon the shoulders of the neighbors. Whether through poverty or want of skill, or the early diffusion of Quaker ideas, no inscriptions were set over the earliest graves. This primitive custom of sepultare outlasted three generations."[ 133 ]

Nowhere else in the colonies was this cemetery custom prevalent. "The parish churchyard of England had been followed in the other colonies by common burial places, attached or at least near to the meeting-house. It was a feature of communal life and partook of the ecclesiastical sanctity descended from the Roman through the Protestant church. In Providence, death even could not end separatism and a common burial ground could not be attained until commerce began to relax the prejudices of the individuals whose ancestors had been driven from Puritan commonwealths."[ 134 ]

Although Providence was settled in the year 1636, the first mention of a public cemetery does not appear in town records until 1700. That year marked a departure from the individuality shown in the prior burial custom. At that time, the proprietors set aside the most useless sand hill in the area, located at the junction of the Pawtucket Road (Main Street) the "Country Road" to the Louquisset, for the burial of the dead. "The lot lying between Archibal Walker's southward to the brook that cometh out of Samuel Whipple's land, eastward with the highway, and westward and northwestward with the Moshassuck River, was voted to remain common for a training field, burying ground, and other public uses."[ 135 ] This land was next to the farm of Samuel Whipple, Captain John's second son, whose was its first interment in 1710/11. Providence at this time was a small town, very much in the shadow of Newport in terms of population and power; however, the time had come to develop a town cemetery as Newport had done more than fifty years before.

Nevertheless, during the next 40 years few availed themselves of the opportunity. "While there were no interment records kept during the first 150 years of use, the study of the gravestone carvers who made the early markers helps us accurately date many gravestones carved long after the deaths they commemorate. Existing gravestones in the North Burial Ground mark only 18 burials here by 1725 and 29 by 1730. There undoubtedly were unmarked burials, but without records we have no way of knowing how many. An educated guess would be that ten percent of the burials were marked with gravestones. This would indicate that there were 180 or more by 1725."[ 136 ]

On 27 October 1746, a petition, signed by Stephen Hopkins and John Whipple (both Captain John Whipple descendants) and others asked for a street eastward of Town Street. It was to spare no ones houselot and imperiled all the household graves. Soon after, the first order was made for a new road to be called Benefit Street. It was to extend from Powers Lane on the south, so far northward as the great gate of Captain John Whipple. The John Whipple gate opened northwardly from his property into the Town Street at the head of Constitution Hill.[ 137 ] This Captain John Whipple, called the bonesetter, one of the largest landowners in Providence at the time, was the grandson of the first John through his son Joseph. The construction of this street required that household graves be relocated to the almost 50-year-old sand hill cemetery, by then called the North Burial Ground.

"Old habits die hard. Families did not immediately embrace the new town burial ground and abandon the family burial grounds on their own property where their parents and grandparents were buried. We know this by the dates on gravestones in those cemeteries when they were moved years later. There are two apparently earlier gravestones [than Samuel Whipple's] in this burial ground, those for Capt. John Whipple (1617-1685) and his wife Sarah (1624-1666) (see picture on P.13) but these do not in fact deserve the honor of being the first. Not only were they moved here from a Whipple family burial plot elsewhere in town, but they were not contemporary with the deaths they mark. We know this from evidence provided by gravestone studies. Both beautiful slate stones were carved by George Allen (1696-1774) of the part of Rehoboth, Massachusetts that is now East Providence, Rhode Island. Allen was not yet born when the Whipples died. His well-documented carving style would indicate that they were made sometime after 1750, possibly at the time when their graveyard was removed to North Burial Ground"[ 138 ]

To reach the burial area shown in the photograph above, drive north from downtown Providence on North Main Street. The cemetery is located on this street, approximately one mile north of downtown. Enter the main gate on the south side of the cemetery. Proceed northward on the street to the right named Eastern Street, stay on this street a distance equivalent to two city blocks. Stop at the clearly visible small sign that marks an east/west walkway, which reads "Dahlia Path." The Whipple burial area is about 15 yards on the left along this path. There is a large white and gray monument to the east that has the name "TEMPLE" inscribed on it. (The Temples married into the Joseph Whipple Junior family.)[ 139 ] Due to superstitions of the time, the headstones face to the west.

The first two headstones to the left of the box tomb are those of Captain John and Sarah Whipple. Most of the 27 headstones present in this Whipple burial area represent the descendants of John Whipple, called the "bonesetter,"[ 140 ] eldest son of Colonel Joseph, the seventh son of Captain John Whipple. Actually, the majority of the burials are of the family of John's only son, Joseph of Smithfield, RI. Joseph4Whipple (John3, Joseph2, John1), his wife, seven daughters without their husbands, three sons and their wives, plus four grandchildren make up over half of the burials. The remaining sites include the graves of Captain John and Sarah Whipple, Colonel Joseph and Alice Whipple, plus Mary Bardin, Colonel Joseph Whipple's youngest daughter, and Jeremiah, the infant son of John the bonesetter. There remains one unknown person, namely "Hannah wife of Samuel Whipple, c1819-1892."[ 141 ] George Allen, the above-mentioned carver, carved the headstones of Captain John and Sarah Whipple and the first four of the family to be interred, the fourth being Colonel Joseph Whipple in 1746. This indicates that the remains of Captain John and Sarah Whipple were, in all probability, reburied around the year 1750 or shortly thereafter.

The Captain John and Sarah Whipple headstones are among but a few with dates from the 1600s, and as such are among the oldest dated markers in the cemetery. Dozens of their generational cohorts were moved to the North Burial Ground in the mid-1700s, but few of their descendants had headstones made to mark their places of reburial. John's headstone is 36 inches high and 27 inches wide. Sarah's is 24 inches high and 20 inches wide. Both are three inches in thickness containing the following inscriptions:

In Memory of
Capt. John Whipple who
Was Born in England &
Died In Providence Town
Ye 16th Day of May Anno
Dom 1685 about 68
Years of Age

In Memory of Mrs Sarah
Whipple ye Wife of Capt
John Whipple She was
Born in Dorchester in
New England & Died in
Providence Anno Dom
1666 Age 42 Years

It has been remarked that some of the information inscribed on John and Sarah's headstones is inaccurate.[ 142 ] As previously noted, Sarah could not have been born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1624 as that that town was not settled until 1630. Could not other information given be similarly inaccurate? It is improbable that the lives of John and Sarah Whipple, unlike others of the time, were originally commemorated with headstones. In view of the above sources, their inscriptions were likely carved some 55 to 75 years after they were originally buried, and could not have been based on information transferred from inscriptions carved on grave markers at the time of death. Colonel Joseph Whipple, who in 1682 was assigned the responsibility to bury his father, or more likely his sons, Captain John Whipple and/or Deputy Governor Joseph Whipple Junior, likely supplied the well-meant, but flawed, information.[ 143 ] Whipple descendants the world over are grateful to them, yet lament that seventeenth century burial customs proscribe a more informed glimpse into the memorable lives of Captain John and Sarah Whipple.

End Notes

  1. Dorchester, the first and largest of the present day metropolitan Boston area settlements, was established in the summer of 1630 by 140 colonists arriving on the Mary and John, landed at Nantasket Bay about four miles south of present day downtown Boston. This ship, part of the Winthrop fleet of 17 ships, arrived on 30 May 1630 (6 June 1630) after a trip of 70 days from Plymouth, England. Dorchester settlers in general came from the southwest of England and, as such, were not forced to leave because of religious persecution. By the late 1650s, when John left, Dorchester's population was around 750. History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts by a Committee of the Dorchester Antiquarian Society (Boston: David Clapp, Printer, 1859) 15, 18, 19 & 24. A mistake ridden one-paragraph discussion of John Whipple and family is given on page 140, and he is presented on a list of those in a "second emigration" on page 102.
  2. James Hosmer, ed., Governor Winthrop's Journal, 1630-1649 (New York: Scribner and Sons, 1908) 1:92
  3. The Whipple name is Welsh originally meaning "one who came from Whimple (white stream) in Devonshire, Dictionary of American Family Names, 232. Whimple originally was the name of a stream, consisting of the words appearing in Welsh, as gwyn "white." and pwll, poll, "pool or stream," 513. A second interpretation from this source points out that it could be a topographic name for someone who lived near a Whippletree. Chaucer lists Whipple tree (probably a kind of dogwood) along with maple, thorn, beach, hazel, and yew. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names 4th Edition, Eclert Ekwall, Editor, 513. The earliest record of its use was in a census of 1086 when it was spelled "Winple." Subsequent census spellings were "Wimpoll" in 1218, and "Wympoll" in 1296. In The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 vols, collected and compiled by the Record Commissioners (Providence: Snow and Farnham, 1892-1915) [hereinafter ERP] the name was spelled Whippl, Whippelle, Whippell, Whippele, Whippel, Whippe, Whiple, Whipell, Whipel and Whipple. One author claimed, Charles H. Whipple, Genealogy of the Whipple-Wright, Wagner, Ward-Pell, Mclean-Burnet Families (Los Angeles, Privately Published, 1917) that the surname Whipple originated with Henri De V. Hipple, a knight from Normandy in the early 15th century. Subsequent research has not coroberated this contention. An alternative interpretation of the name is derived from "another Celtic word 'gwymp' meaning fine or fair, hence 'grymppwll' meaning 'fine stream.' ...In Saxon times Whimple had a small wooden two-cell church on the current slightly elevated site..." Archive Information, Whimple History Society, on line at 4/2/2004. A recently published genealogy claims [without documentation] that an aunt of the Whipple brothers of 1638, named Marion, immigrated to Plymouth in 1621. As far is known, John of 1632 was the first verified Whipple in the new world.
  4. Blaine Whipple, History and Genealogy of "Elder" John Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts, His English Ancestors and American Descendants (Victoria, British Columbia: Trafford Publishing Company, 2003) vi. Also, Blaine Whipple's presentation of the most up-to-date source of information, and easiest to access, on nearly all general Whipple questions can be found on the Whipple Website, Weldon Whipple webmaster.
  5. George F. Dow, Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1988) 101. "When the first considerable emigration ceased about the year 1640, of the 25,000 settlers then living in the Colony, probably ninety-five per cent were small farmers or workmen engaged in the manual trades, together with many indentured servants who had come over under the terms of a contract whereby they were bonded to serve their masters for a term of years - usually five or seven. The remaining five per cent of the population was composed of those governing the colony..."
  6. John O. Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, reprint edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969) 221. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, ed. Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 6 Volumes in 5 (Boston: W. White, 1853-54) 1974. This very first record of John's behavior in the new world, though not flattering is very human. John and his fellow youthful indentured servant likely had never seen so much wild life before. Their exuberance, though immature, is understandable. At the least they learned a sobering lesson concerning Puritan discipline.
  7. Ralph M. Stoughton, "The Stoughton Families of Dorchester, Mass., and Windsor, Conn.," The American Genealogist, Vol. 29, No.4 (New Haven, October 1953). Stoughton was an often member of the 28 Massachusetts legislature where he undoubtedly met John Whipple of Ipswich, a fellow legislator. Perhaps they discussed Stoughton's young apprentice. Stoughton returned to England to fight with Cromwell where he was killed in 1645.
  8. Charles E. Banks, The Planters of the Commonwealth, reprint edition (Baltimore: Genealogical Publication Company, 1979) 99-100. The author states that John Whipple of Dorchester was from Bocking. A document entitled "The American Connection with Braintree District" published by the Braintree Council corroborates this contention, as does Winifred Ashwell who insists that both John and Matthew, from Bocking, were passengers on the Lyon. Winifred Ashwell, Essex and the Lyon: The People Who Sailed in Her to New England in 1632 and the Land to Which They Went (Braintree, England: 1979). The latest and most informed opinion is that Banks and others assumed incorrectly that John Whipple of Dorchester was from Bocking. A thorough discussion of this issue and a comparison of two lists of passengers supposedly on the 1632 Lyon can be viewed on the Whipple Website. The nativity of John Whipple of Dorchester is unknown. In addition to Bocking, previous authors have given Milford, Wales as John's residence. There is but one Milford in Wales, located in the county of Pembroke at the parish of Huberston and Steynton. However, its earliest parish registers do not begin until 1637.
  9. Boyd's Marriage Index (London: Society of Genealogists, 1980)
  10. Debrett Ancestry Research Limited (Gordon Road, Winchester, SO23 7DD, England, March 1990) p. C
  11. Maude P. Kuhns, The Mary and John (Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing Company, 1943) 70. The weir was conditioned upon an agreement to sell fish at 5 shillings per thousand to the women of Dorchester, this being the first record we have of price ceilings in the United States. Perhaps as part of his indentureship, John was given the responsibility to catch and sell fish.
  12. Richard P. Bonney, ed., Dorchester Tercentenary Commission, Dorchester Old and New in the Old Bay Colony (Dorchester: Chapple Publishing Company Ltd, 1930) 12-13. "The original mill was erected on the Dorchester side on land later occupied by the old stone chocolate mill." 32. [This was about 50 yards downstream from the bridge].
  13. "Bridge Project Digs Up History in Lower Mills," Dorchester Reporter, 27 February 2003.
  14. Bonney, 31. "Ship building commenced in 1640, small vessels of thirty to forty tons being built at Gulliver's creek." Also "The maintenance of a sufficient head of water in the Neponset has been a serious problem. In 1639, a canal was dug connecting the Charles and Neponset at a point in Dedham...and water from the upper Charles was diverted for the use of Stoughton's mill." 33.
  15. Dow, 107
  16. Sharon Sargent at Personal communication with the authors 9 October 2004
  17. Dorchester Town Records, City Document 9, Report of the Boston Record Commissioners, No.4, 1880, p. 27. John "Whiplle" was the last of the Dorchester proprietors to sign his name to an agreement submitting to arbitration a dispute over the fencing and division of land, 79. In order to become a landowner, that is, a proprietor, John would have had to be a freeman and church member.
  18. Clarence A. Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1985) 803. It should not be presumed that Torrey's list is primary, accurate, or inclusive. "When a couple concluded to marry they made known their intentions to the town clerk, who posted a notice of their intended marriage in the meetinghouse. This was called being published. By law this notice must be published three Sabbaths before the ceremony was addition to posting, the town clerk would rise in the meeting and read the intention to marry." Dow, 100. It is not known if they were married in this particular meetinghouse, which was located at the northerly end of Pleasant Street at Pond Street. This church building, one of America's oldest English churches (after Plymouth and Salem), in which the Whipples undoubtedly worshiped, was a crudely thatched small edifice with a stairway on the outside. It quickly became insufficient to meet the growing needs of the settlement.
  19. Records of the First Church at Dorchester in New England, 1636-1734 (Boston: George H. Ellis, 1891) 6. Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its History and People (Salt Lake: Ancestry Publishing, 1986) 213. "From yeoman on down the social scale, a man was called 'Goodman,' and a woman 'goodwife,' the latter familiarly shortened at times to 'goody'. Men above yeoman status were addressed as 'Mr.,' pronounced 'Master,' and their wives were addressed as 'Mrs.,' or 'Mistress.' A young girl coming from a higher class family would also be called 'Mrs.,' even though unmarried." Although her husband is not listed, Goodwife Whipple and eight of her nine children born in Dorchester are listed together in the name index on page 267, and on the appropriate pages, of the Records of the 1st Church referenced above. It is believed that the record of John's admittance to membership was taken to Connecticut in 1635/6. "There is little hope of finding these ancient records either in Windsor or in Dorchester." xi.
  20. Shurtleff, 1:397. "In the spring of 1631...the magistrates decreed 'that for time to come noe man shalbe admitted to the freedome of this body polliticke, but such as are members of some of the churches within the lymitts of the same.'" Records of the 1st Church at Dorchester, iv.
  21. Thomas Bicknell, The History of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 3 vols (New York: The American Historical Society, 1920) 1:106.
  22. Perry Miller, Orthodoxy In Massachusetts, 1630-1650 (Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press, 1933) 200. The children of Massachusetts church members therefore received baptism, "the seal of righteousness of faith." But it was still understood to be merely an "offer of righteousness from God"; it could not in itself make the recipients "partakers of that grace offered." Davenport-Page Controversy, Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings XLIII: 52. Shurtleff, 2:155. "In 1646 the Cambridge Platform skirted the problem gingerly, affirming the conventional theory that only children of members were entitled to baptism..."
  23. On 24 November 1684, John Whipple Junior gave a deposition in which he stated that he was at that time 45 years old---making his birth to have occurred in 1639. ERP, 17:53-4.
  24. Records of the First Church at Dorchester, 267, Austin, 221-23. Henry E, Whipple, A Brief Genealogy of the Whipple Families Who Settled in Rhode Island (Providence: A. Crawford Greene, 1873). James N. Arnold, Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 (Providence: Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1892). Vital statistics of the children and grandchildren of John and Sarah Whipple are taken from the above and numerous publications that quote from them. To view more recent information consult the Whipple Website, Weldon Whipple, Webmaster. For John Junior's birth see Robert C. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston: NEHGS, 1995) 1972-73. The date of his birth was, "three days after his mother's baptism." The Providence children's nativity dates are estimates only. The birth of Abigail, in particular, likely occurred in Dorchester about 1657/58---the absence of a christening record resulting from the family's disfavor with church officials. James Blake, Annals of the Town of Dorchester (Boston: David Clapp, 1846) 1:20. "The records of Births & Deaths that was before this year [1658] is said to be accidentally burnt in Thomas Millet's house, and so are all lost, except a few Families that kept ye Account of their Childrens Births, entered them in ye next Book of ye Records of Births." Faulty memory may account for the problem with the births of John Junior and Abigail.
  25. Bicknell, 2:652. "When we remember that in English town [Old England] there were no free schools and that reading and writing were accomplishments, obtained only at private expense, we can readily forgive the men and women, the founders of towns, who made their marks in their signatures to public documents and we may esteem those who gave us their autographs in almost unintelligible form, the privileged ones in English social life. It is evident from all we can gather that the first settlers were most anxious to give their children the rudiment of an education--that they should be able to read write, spell and cipher..."
  26. Breen, The Character of the Good Ruler (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1974) 420. The free school was established at Newport in 1640...was, so far as public records may be trusted, the first of its class in New England and possibly in the world. The only claimant for the honor that can support a worthy argument is Boston, [Dorchester] in the Bay Colony. So far as our studies extend, the Boston free school was not wholly free, while that at Newport required no fee of the pupils." Bicknell, 2:656
  27. History of the Town of Dorchester Massachusetts, 185.
  28. Dow, 102-104
  29. Bicknell, 2:660-61.
  30. Dow, 103
  31. Hosmer, Winthrop's Journal, 1:120, 152, 200
  32. It is the belief of some that John Whipple helped in the construction of the Pierce house on Oakten Street as well.
  33. Breen, 176-77
  34. Kuhns, 2-3.
  35. Breen 66-67, 72. History of Dorchester, 84.
  36. William Orcutt, Good Old Dorchester, 1630-1893 (Cambridge: University Press, 1893) 60-61.
  37. New England Historical and Genealogical Society Record, Vol. 6, 1852, p 41.
  38. James Savage, "History of Dorchester in the County of Dorset" 61-66, as quoted in New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, Volume 5 October 1851.
  39. Robert C. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. 3 vols. (Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1995) 3:1974
  40. Irving B. Richman, Rhode Island, Its Making and Meaning (New York: B.P. Putnam Sons, 1908) 292. In 1655, Providence had 42 freemen, Newport 96.
  41. Clifford Monahon, Rhode Island: A Students' Guide to Localized History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1965) 1. "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations has a total area of 1214 square miles, of which 1058 are land and 156 inland water." Providence Plantations encompasses approximately 350 square miles most of which can be "used for small farms, dairy farms, poultry raising, and orchards, while the submarginal hilltops are suited only for the growth of timber." Six of the eight sons of Captain John Whipple subsisted on farms such as the above.
  42. Roger Williams wrote that in deference to John Smith, the miller, a resident of Dorchester, he allowed an other Dorchesterite, a destitute boy named Francis Wickes to escape from Massachusetts with them. Perhaps Wickes, whose property Captain John eventually bought in Providence, was a fellow apprentice.
  43. Assuming the move took place in late 1658 or early 1659, the ages of the children at that time were: John 19, Sarah 17, Samuel 15, Eleazer 13, Mary 11, William 7, Benjamin 5, David 3, and Abigail 1.
  44. Edward Johnson, Wonder-Working Providences (London: 1654), 41
  45. Bicknell, 1:230-31.
  46. William B. Weeden, Early Rhode Island, A Social History of the People, 1636-1790 (New York: The Grafton Press, 1910) 74. "They (Providence residents) framed the solid chests and tables, rude but strong, which stood on sanded floors." Welcome Arnold Greene, The Providence Plantations for Two Hundred and Fifty Years (1886) 35.
  47. Florence Simister, Streets of the City, An Anecdotal History of the City of Providence (Providence: Mowbray Company Publishers, 1968) 47. "For over a century after it was founded, Providence really had only one street..." Henry C. Dorr, The Planting and Growth of Providence. Rider's Tract #15 (Providence: Sidney S. Rider, 1882) 86. "The town street was continually flooded by currents of rain or melting snow from the abrupt hill side...At length, on the 4th of the 12th month in 1649, the town council ordered that every man shall mend and make good the highway before his house lot or lots...This is the earliest regulation of Providence streets. The duty of repairing them must have been but negligently performed...The Legislature granted a lottery in February 1761 for the first pavement of Town Street." Since John owned at least four lots on a steep incline of the street, his would have been a demanding obligation. One of John's last entries in colony records, 1682, concerned a law against galloping horses in front of his property. This was the first law in Rhode Island concerning traffic. Gertrude Kimball, Providence in Colonial Times (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912) 123. "The Town Street was becoming so heavily traveled that in the same year the General Assembly enacted the first traffic regulation, forbidding riding 'a gallup on horse, gelding or mare, in the street lying against the great river...between the land of Pardon Tillinghast, and the northerly corner of John Whipple, Sen'r, where his dwelling house stands in the north end, under penalty of a fine of five shillings for each offense." John R. Bartlett, ed., Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England (Providence, 1856-1865) III:105
  48. Dorr, 8. "Providence did not grow up around a Puritan meeting house as their center with the common graveyard, and separateness and independence showed themselves, even in the resting places of the dead. Nearly a century went by before the first steeple [Anglican] arose above the town." Baptists and Quakers held religious services in "house churches" until the early 1700s.
  49. Dorr, 98.
  50. Named in honor of Captain John's oldest daughter's husband and father-in-law.
  51. Dorr, 57, 64. "In 1658, a year of scarcity and trouble, 'all commodities were drawn from the neighboring colonies, except produce.' There was no grain save Indian corn, and the vengeful Puritans of Massachusetts threatened to combine, and to sell that at their own rates. This was the year in which Rhode Island refused the demand of the United Colonies for the expulsion of the Quakers." Actually, there were at least one physician and three ordained ministers, plus some who had studied law among the "first comers."
  52. Dorr, 135. Fifty-two (or 54) original proprietor families were each assigned about 125 feet of land along Towne Street. By the late 1650s only half of these families had built houses on their properties, yet were still hesitant to sell to outsiders.
  53. William G. Mcloughlin, Rhode Island, A Bicentennial History (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1978) 10
  54. Irving B. Richman, Rhode Island, A Study in Separatism (Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1905) 61.
  55. Richman, 159
  56. Henry C. Dorr, The Proprietors of Providence and Their Controversies With The Freeholders. Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Vol. 9 (Providence: The Society, 1897) 46. John's apprenticeship had ended by 1637. He sold approximately 43 acres of land in Dorchester, and bought over 200 acres in Providence, for £180, from the colony's longtime governor. This could have been partly the result of the difference in land values in the two towns. Bicknell, 1:206. "Males, married, heads of families, were the only persons eligible to membership to be elected by a majority vote of the whole body--after a name had been propounded for one month. Land could not be resold without consent of the land company (proprietors)."
  57. Dorr, (Tract #15) 67. The town tried to borrow a carpenter from Warwick in 1654.
  58. ERP, 3:59. Dorr, (Tract #15) 68.
  59. Clara H. McGuigan, The Antecedents and Descendants of Noah Whipple of the Rogerene Community at Quakertown, Connecticut (Ithaca, New York: John N. Kingsbury, 1971) 36. The author contends that both of Samuel Whipple Junior's grandfathers, namely John Whipple and Thomas Harris, were non-conformists, and had removed to Rhode Island to escape persecution in Massachusetts. It is proven that Harris was a persecuted Quaker, however, only circumstantial evidence is available to show that John Whipple was as well.
  60. An exception being a small settlement of Quakers on the east end of Long Island, New York.
  61. Carl Bridenbaugh, Fat Mutton and Liberty of Conscience, Society in Rhode Island, 1636-1690 (Providence: Brown University Press, 1974) 4
  62. John could have been a member of the church doctrinally in good standing, yet have rejected the high handedness of the magistrates. Had this been the case, the Whipples likely would have moved (like their Dorchester neighbors of 1635/36) to Connecticut, which would have permitted them to maintain their Massachusetts religious beliefs yet be free from Massachusetts authorities. It was 1722 before a Congregational Church was started in Providence.
  63. McLoughlin, 23. "John Clark wrote the first tract by an American defending the Baptist persuasion and was the first Baptist to take a missionary trip into Massachusetts Bay (in 1652) to spread that persuasion (for which he narrowly escaped whipping)." Winthrop's Journal, 2:177. If John Whipple and family had been Baptist at that time they likely would have left in November of 1644 when Massachusetts ordered the banishment of all Anababtists. This 1644 law was most unpopular in England. The civil war in England, in which two-thirds of Cromwell's army were Separatists (i.e.) non Church of England or Puritan, created an unheard of tolerance for religious diversity. "Massachusetts replied to these criticisms by gathering her holy skirts closer about her heels and proceeding on her unlovely way alone. From this time forth the colony turned aside from the main currents of English opinion.... Thus did the New England orthodoxy turn its back upon the greatest single religious advance of modern times, and exert itself to avoid making innovations in its thinking." See Chapter 8 in Miller. That is, for the next 25 years it became even more determined to weed out all non-Puritan elements in its citizenry, and the Quakers, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, were the first to feel its wrath. "The first Baptist church to start in Massachusetts was at Rehoboth near the Rhode Island border in 1663." Bicknell 2:585.
  64. Edward Field, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the End of the Century: A History (Boston: Mason Publishing Company, 1902) 83. "While a considerable number of earnest Christian men and women joined Mr. Williams in the formation of the first church it is evident that a very much larger number of residents at Providence held themselves entirely aloof. It must thus be explained why the general religious condition of the State was, in early times, somewhat low and why traces of that chartered irreligion, which perfect liberty of conscience to a degree encouraged in certain sections, still subsist." Bruce C. Daniels, Dissent and Conformity on Narragansett Bay (Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1983) 111. "After the initial four settlements founded prior to 1663, some settlers were still attracted to Rhode Island by its dissent but many more New Englanders came for economic opportunities. Several areas of Rhode Island were settled by people who did not particularly care whether they were in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island as long as they had clear title to their land..."
  65. Wilfred H. Munro, Picturesque Rhode Island (Providence: J.A. & R.A. Reid, Publishers, 1881) 146.
  66. Bicknell, 3:1017.
  67. Mcloughlin, 27
  68. McLoughlin, 36
  69. Richman, Rhode Island Its Making and Meaning, 216
  70. Rufus M. Jones, The Quakers in the American Colonies (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1966) 70. Also page 81. His brother, William Harris, a close friend and John Whipple Junior's tutor for the profession of law, became a Quaker after Fox's visit to Rhode Island in 1672.
  71. Richman, Rhode Island, Its Making and Meaning, 351. Mcloughlin, 36. Beginning in October 1656, Massachusetts passed the first of a series of laws inflicting harsh penalties on Quaker and Quaker sympathizers. Starting with imprisonment, fines, and banishment, these laws subsequently included whipping, branding, ear cropping, and tongue boring. The final step, in 1658, was a law ordering death by hanging.
  72. Suffolk Land Records, Deeds, 14 vols. (Boston: 1880-1906) 3:204-05. Minot, a native of Safron Walden, Essex, England, was born 4 August 1594, and died in Dorchester 24 December 1671. He was a deputy 1635-36,one of the first signers of the church covenant in 1636, and a ruling elder for 30 years. He gave the Whipple property to his 32-year old son John. History of the Town of Dorchester, 67.
  74. ERP, 2:11 & 15:127. "Att a Quarter Court July the 27th 1659 Mr. Ffeild moderator. This Day John Whipple Senior: is received into the Towne a purchaser." By this date, all purchasers were freemen so John automatically assumed that status. Dorr, 40. John's next-door neighbor, Mary Dyer, was likewise hanged in Boston in 1660.
  75. Henry King does not mention the Whipple family in his history of the First Baptist Church. Henry M. King, Historical Catalogue of the Members of the First Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island (Providence, F.H. Townsend, Printer, 1908). "...Unfortunately, there are no minutes or records of First Baptist Church Prior to 1755. The first Whipple that appears on our membership lists (1764) was Bethiah Whipple, wife of John Whipple (the second son of Benjamin who was the fifth son of Capt. John Whipple)... Rarely did Baptist churches keep any records in the 17th century. They were small congregations and had no associations to report to." Email to the authors from J. Stanley Lemons, professor at Rhode Island College and historian for the First Baptist Church, 25 May 2004.
  76. McGuigan, 28.It must be recalled that Williams was a Baptist for only four months. His religion could be described in modern parlance as fundamentalist but "non-denominational." Later in life, he did not require that adults be rebaptized. John Callender, The Early History of Rhode Island (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1843) 31. "Not withstanding so many differences, there are fewer quarrels about religion than elsewhere, the people living peaceably with their neighbors of whatsoever persuasion. They all agree in one point, that the church of England is second best." On page 110 Callender argues convincingly that Williams never joined the Baptist church at Providence. For a different opinion of Williams' conversion see, Richard Knight, History of the General or Six Principle Baptist Church (Providence: Smith and Parmenter, 1827) 255.
  77. John Junior's second wife was a Quaker, as were the spouses of Sarah and perhaps the second spouse of Abigail. Samuel's in-laws were likewise Quakers, as were those of Joseph Junior. Thomas Senior, son of Samuel, married a sister of Governor Jenckes, a well-known Quaker. Eleazer's oldest daughter, Deborah, married into the prominent Wilkinson family of Quakers.
  78. "John Whipple on the Baptist Church," Rhode Island Historical Society Manuscripts, 10:35. "I found the folder for this letter in the Historical Society Library, but nothing was in it but a Warwick deed between two parties. I had the same problem last year. The technician and I checked the cross-references. They were all for the same folder, so the reference was correct. The librarian stated that the letter is either lost or misplaced." Personal observation of Barbara Carroll, 5 March 2004. "Probably the John Whipple who wrote this letter was admitted to the church on July 11, 1790. But, he was expelled from the church on August 26, 1808 for 'quarrelling with Wheeler Martin.' Martin was the chief judge of the Court of Common pleas in Providence." Email to the authors from J. Stanley Lemons, professor at Rhode Island College and historian for the First Baptist Church, 25, May 2004. Mark S. Schantz, Piety in Providence: Class Dimensions of Religious Experience in Antebellum Rhode Island (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000) 31. Record Book, First Baptist Church, August 26, 1708, Manuscript Collection, Rhode Island Historical Society. "The church did not countenance instances of assault on gentlemen."
  79. Mcloughlin, 46. The Providence Baptist fellowship operated without a formal creed. During its first 75 years services were held in member's homes and under the trees in good weather. Its first meetinghouse was constructed in 1701. Rhode Island Quakers followed the Baptist in this regard. Fox complained in 1672 that Rhode Island Quakers did not have adequate places to worship.
  80. ERP, 3:98-100. Charles W. Hopkins, The Home Lots of the Early Settlers of the Providence Plantations (Providence: Providence Press Publishers, 1886) 24.
  81. ERP, 20:281-284. Bicknell, 1:183.The 1663 document deeded to John Junior included the William Arnold lot with its apparent very expensive price tag. The first tax ever levied in Providence occurred in 1650 shows that Arnold was assessed a property tax of five pounds, by far the most of any lot owner. John Junior's son, John III, subsequently sold the property to his uncle Colonel Joseph Whipple, who in 1726 traded with a son-in-law, Stephen Dexter, for an additional three lots (Thomas James, John Greene Senior, and John Smith) immediately to the south of the Arnold lot. The Colonel's oldest son, Captain John Whipple, in 1738, bought from the heirs of Thomas Arnold the two house lots that had long been unoccupied on the north side of the 1661 purchase, which had originally been laid out in 1638 to Thomas Painter and Edward Manton. By this last purchase, Colonel Joseph and his son became the owners of nine consecutive house lots along Town Street that extended from about 100 feet of the top of Constitution Hill to within 150 feet or Roger Williams' fresh water spring. In addition to these, in 1728, the Whipples bought three lots toward the southerly end of the street, those of William Mann, William Burrows, and William Wickenden. By the time of Colonel Joseph Whipple's death in 1746, between 70 and 80 acres in the heart of the town were in the possession of one man and his son. Each lot granted the owner an additional six acres of farmland, thus the Whipples owned over 150 acres of highly coveted property. Hundreds of other acres were owned by them in the northern and central parts of the colony.
  82. John H. Cady, The Civic and Architectural Development of Providence, 1636-1950 (Providence: The Book Shop, 1957) 11. The house could have been unoccupied since 1651. "Benedict Arnold paid the highest town rate and probably enlarged or rebuilt his father's house on the present Constitution Hill when he returned to Providence from Pawtuxet after his marriage. He lived there until 1651 when he moved to Newport, later becoming governor of the colony." Arnold was elected governor for the years 1657-58-59- 60-62-63. It was in 1661, the year he was not governor, that he sold his land to John. Captain John Whipple was first to build a house, next door on the former y 1Wickes property, sometime before 1663.
  83. Dorr, Rider's Tract #15, 40
  84. In June of 2004, the present authors measured the inclination of that part of the hill that was enclosed by John's property lines. Given that its topography has changed in 350 years, much of the incline still climbs almost straight up; the rest varies between 45 degrees and 60 degrees extending up the hill for over a quarter of a mile where it levels off toward Hope Street. It is indeed an understatement to describe it as a "steep" hill. Then as now it is fit for logging and orchards only. It is clear why John bought the property at such a cheap price. At present, houses standing on precarious ledges, most man-made, completely cover the hillside much in the fashion of Southern California and nowhere is an orchard or corn stalk to be seen.
  85. Bicknell, 1:183. "During the life of [Roger] Williams, two men by their executive ability and personal influence ruled the proprietary as well as the town---William Harris and Thomas Olney, and at the death of both, the power was vested in the popular leader and town-proprietary clerk, Thomas Olney Jr." By marrying into these powerful families, the Whipples automatically became influential themselves.
  86. ERP, 15:127. "About ye middle of nouember, in the yeare 1660, Laid out unto John Whipple Senior, at the place Called Loquasqussuck: by William Carpenter Towne Deputye..."
  87. Publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society, New Series (Providence: Standard Printing Company, 1893-1900) V:127. " the west of Eleazer's farm on the cross road to 'Martin's Wade' was his son-in-law John Wilkinson's farm. To the south of the Whipple and Wilkinson farms were those of William Whipple and Stephen Dexter. Still farther south was the farm of Col. Sylvanus Scott (John Whipple Junior's stepson), which later became the home of David Whipple. All these Whipples were the brothers of Col. Joseph Whipple, the early and most liberal of the founders of King's Church. West of Col. Scott was Eliazer Arnold, while still further to the west was land of Samuel Whipple."
  88. ERP, 3:26
  89. ERP, 3:72
  90. ERP, 15:115
  91. ERP, 3:88
  92. ERP, 4:46
  93. ERP, 4:47
  94. ERP, 4:18
  95. ERP, 3:9
  96. ERP, 8:98. William and Benedict Arnold left the settlement early on and moved to the Pawtuxet. Benedict moved to Newport and served several years as governor of the colony.
  97. Samuel H. Brockunier, The Irrepressible Democrat: Roger Williams (New York: Ronald Press, 1940) 130.
  98. Simister, 21. "It was first changed from a path to a street in 1704, its width, 4 poles, its name to Towne Street."
  99. Whipple Hall was located about one block north of Star Street on Benefit Street, which is just to the left of the distant small red sign. See the chapter on Joseph Whipple for details.
  100. ERP, 1:8. Clemence's son, Richard, married Sarah Smith daughter of Sarah Whipple-Smith, Captain John's oldest daughter. Austin, Genealogical Dictionary, 382-83. ERP, 17:25. He exchanged 20 acres of land with Joseph Whipple in 1685.
  101. ERP, 2:144
  102. ERP, 3:4 & 3:47
  103. ERP, 3:98-100. In a letter to the authors dated 5 August 2004, the Rhode Island Historical Society denied its permission to show John's signature on the Internet. "I regret that we are unable to grant permission to reproduce the image of John Whipple's signature from the deed in your website article." His signature can be shown in book form only.
  104. ERP, 15:109-10
  105. ERP, 3:110
  106. ERP, 3:591
  107. Bicknell, 3:887.
  108. Dorr, Rider's Tract #15, 184. Charles H. Whipple, Genealogy of the Whipple-Wright, Wager, Ward- Pell, McLean-Burnet Families (Privately Published, 1917) 12. McGuigan, 289. Samuel G. Arnold, History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 2 vols. (New York: Appleton & Company, 1859) 1:523. "The regular session was held at Providence at the house of John Whipple. The smallpox had broken out with great violence upon the island. The whole affairs of the colony were deranged by the prevailing sickness, and no business of general interest was transacted by the Assembly. So virulent was this formidable plague...that a letter from Boston written during the winter, says, 'Rhode Island is almost destroyed by the smallpox'. Newport was abandoned by the legislature for nearly a year."
  109. ERP, 3:148 & 3:152.
  110. ERP, 7:5-6. John Junior, for unknown reasons, refused a request to establish an inn the year before. It is doubtful that he would have started his own tavern had his father disapproved or was still in the business himself.
  111. ERP, 4:8. Bicknell, 1:215. "In April, 1674, John Whipple, tavern-keeper was paid 'one shilen for house rent.' The Whipple tavern was central and seems to have been a favorite for town meetings."
  112. Kimball, 127. Dorr, 182."In the early days very few travelers came to Providence. During two generations, all strangers were received in private houses---the most important, or those entrusted with public business---by Williams himself, or by Thomas Olney, the town clerk. After inns were duly licensed, (in 1655) the reception of wayfarers was scarcely their chief employment."
  113. Kimball, 128. Weeden, 221. Joseph renewed his license as late as 1732.Although confirming records have yet to be evidenced, it is believed that John III sold his father's tavern to his uncle Joseph sometime in the fall of 1710.
  114. John H. Cady, The Civic and Architectural Development of Providence 1636-1950 (Providence: The Book Shop, 1957) 15. A year 1700 map, on page 14, shows three taverns in Providence, those of Whipple, half way up Constitution Hill, Olney's, on the corner of Town Street and Olney Street [about two blocks northeast of Whipple's], and Turpin [about three blocks north of Olney's]. On a 1750 map in the same book, page 27, only the Olney and Turpin taverns remain. This author, like all others, seems not to differentiate between the John Senior and John Junior taverns. It appears that Joseph Whipple left the business around the year 1740.
  115. Publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society, New Series, III: 228. John Whipple Senior did not own a tavern in the 1660s when the letters were written, so the dissemination argument is ill chosen.
  116. Glen W. LaFantasie, ed., The Correspondence of Roger Williams (Providence: Brown University Press/University Press of New England, 1988) II:603-604 35
  117. Bicknell, 1:218. Differences soon arose between Williams and his associates in the corporation as to an extension of the territorial bounds...Williams held to the four-mile limit...and opposed any further extension. Had his policy been pursued, Providence in its narrow territorial domain would have lost existence to Massachusetts or Connecticut."
  118. Bicknell, 1:181. "William Harris and Thomas Olney, clerk, were leaders of the landed class, while Mr. Williams was the head of the 'down-and-out' party... Mr. Williams had neither constructive, executive or diplomatic ability, while Harris and Olney had all these qualities. Then again, Mr. Williams had withdrawn after four months...from the society called Baptists and had thereby lost his influence as a religious teacher and guide...As late as 1669, Mr. Williams appeals to the land aristocracy in behalf of those who do not and others who will not come to town meetings, but the fact remains that the men of property, the proprietors, were able and organized and retained their control of town affairs during their lives and left their heritage of wealth and power to their successors." As shown later on, the Whipple family shared in this largess.
  119. Williams had his own personality problems. "Historians urge that he (Roger Williams) was eccentric, pugnacious, persistent, troublesome; undoubtedly he was." Bicknell, 1:231.
  120. Harris and his allies received most of the shares supposedly at the expense of the rest of the plantation. John Junior's descendants obviously shared in this largess. A more in-depth analysis of this conflict is presented in the chapter on John Whipple Junior.
  121. ERP, 1670, 3:150; 1674, 4:1; & 1676, 8:11 & 15:149
  122. A list of the 27 names of such as stajd & went not away is given in the ERP, 15:151-52.
  123. George W. Greene, A Short History of Rhode Island (Providence: J. A. Reid Publishers, 1877) 75
  124. ERP, 8:12. Welcome Arnold Greene, 42 & 99. "There were two houses in Providence deemed capable of serving as garrison houses. One was the fort whose erection on Stamper's Hill [across the street north from Capt. John's house]...and of this Roger Williams, who was captain of the train band, took command with a portion of the townsmen who remained. The other was that of William Field, near the present foot of Hopkins Street, where Captain Arthur Fenner with the other remaining men were posted...there appears to have been no actual attack upon either of the garrisoned houses...Exactly what was the number of houses destroyed cannot be determined. One account says all but five...At the time of King Philips War, 28 are recorded as 'men who staid and went not away,' others are known to have stayed..."
  125. ERP, 15:153
  126. Charles H. Whipple, 11. According to John O. Austin, 221, John was a deputy in 1676, 69, 70, 72, 74, 76, & 77. A different account lists his years of service as 1666,74, & 76. Rhode Island Historical Society Collections, 1918-1941, 2:645-49. John Whipple Junior's service as a deputy and assistant is usually given as the reason for the confusion. He also served as the town's treasurer in 1668 and in 1683. Bicknell, 2:642- 43. "The Colonial officers were a Governor, a Deputy Governor and ten Assistants. These with sixteen deputies elected by the towns constituted the lawmaking power, styled in the charter, The General Assembly...The General Assembly met twice a year, in May and October.. .On the 6th of May, 1696, the Deputies voted to sit by themselves as a House of Deputies, choosing their own Speaker and Clerk, and the General Assembly thereafter met in two bodies, the Governor, the Deputy and Assistants constituting the Upper House, and the representatives of the towns, the House of Deputies or the Lower House. Col. Rec., p.313, Vol. III."
  127. Horatio Rogers, George Moulton Carpenter and Edward Field, Record Commissioners. The Early Records of the Town of Providence, Volume 6, Being Part of the Will, Book Number 1, otherwise called the First Book for Providence Towne Council Perticulior Vse. (Providence: Snow and Farnham City printers, 1894) 126-128. ERP, 126-28
  128. ERP, 6: 128-30
  129. ERP, 6:130-34
  130. He had perhaps been living with his oldest son for sometime by then. Volume IV of the Early Records of the Town of Providence provides interesting reading for those desiring to know about the private property of "city people" in the time of Roger Williams. Captain John's wearing apparel was valued at £2. Bicknell, 1:152.
  131. ERP, 6:130-134.
  132. Dorr, 25
  133. Dorr, 44, 46. Jones 573.
  134. Weeden, 129.
  135. W. R. Staples, Annals of the Town of Providence (Providence: Knowles and Vose, 1843) 184.
  136. John E. Sterling, North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island, Old Section, 1700-1848 (Providence: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, Special Publication #5, 2000) xii.
  137. Welcome Arnold Greene, 53. "A street in the rear of the town street was advocated as early as in 1743, but such a street would run through all the ancestral burial grounds of the home-lot owners, and their souls rebelled against the proposition. After a stubborn contest, in February, 1747, a committee was appointed to 'inspect and examine the land whether it was convenient to lay the new street' to be call 'Back Street' or Benefit Street...the street was ordered in 1747, but the land-owners contested so persistently against it that it was not finished till 1756, and its extension northward to the town street at the head of Constitution Hill was not made till 1758, and then only on condition that a gate be kept up at the north end. This gate was retained for half a century..."
  138. Sterling, xii.
  139. "An Account of the Temple Family," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 10, January 1856.
  140. Henry E. Whipple, 40
  141. Sterling, 12-13. The 27 burials are as follows: (1) In Memory of Capt. John Whipple first Son of Col. Joseph Whipple who departed this life the 18th of May died 1769 aged 84 years 5 mos & 19 days, (2) In Memory of ye Hon Col. Joseph Whipple who departed this life anno dom 1746 in ye 85th year of his age, (3) In Memory of Mrs. Alice Whipple ye wife of Col. Joseph Whipple born in Providence and died July 20th anno dom 1739 aged 75 years, (4) Jeremiah son of Capt. John Whipple & Abigail his wife died Jan 2d 1731 aged 14 mos 23 days, (5) In memory of Mary wife of Capt Charles Bardin youngest daughter of Col. Joseph Whipple died Dec 8 1733 aged 29 years & 8 mos, (6)In Memory of Capt John Whipple who was born in England & died in Providence town 16th day of May anno dom 1685 about 68 years of age, (7) In memory of Mrs Sarah Whipple wife of Capt John Whipple she was born in Dorchester in New England died in Providence anno dom 1666 aged about 42 years, (8) In memory of Capt William Whipple a Revolutionary Purist who died on the 5th of July. Suppress not your tears. This is a soldiers grave, (9) In memory of Mrs. Abigail Whipple wife of William Whipple who died Nov 16 1818 age 64 years, (10) Miss Susannah Whipple daughter of Joseph & Sarah 27 May 1797 in 23 year of her age, (11) Mrs Mary Olney wife of Capt Stephan Olney daughter of Josf Whipple died May 24 1798 age 27 years 4 mos, (12) Miss Freelove Whipple daughter of Joseph died Dec 4 1798 age 30 years 5 days, (13) Miss Mehitable daughter of Joseph Whipple died 3 Feb 1799 aged 17 years 11 mos, (14) Miss Elizabeth daughter of Joseph Whipple Esq. & Sara his wife who expired Feb 27 1800 age 21 years 3 mos 2 days, (15) In memory of Amy Hurd Wife of Ambose Hurd & daughter of Joseph Whipple died 17 Jan 1803 42 years & 19 days, (16) In memory of Miss Hatty Whipple Hurd adopted daughter of Gen John Whipple & Naomi his wife who died May 3 1827 in her 26th year, (17) In memory of Joseph Whipple, Veteran of the Revolutionary War, died Jan 6 1816 age 82, (18) In memory of Sara Whipple wife of Joseph Whipple died Apr 20 1820 age 85 years, (19) In memory of Mrs Abigail Jastram relic of Mr. John Jastram & daughter of late Joseph and Sara Whipple of Smithfield. She died June 31 1841 in her 83d year, (20) In memory of Gen John Whipple, veteran of the Revolutionary War, 21 Dec 1811, (21) In memory of Mrs Naomi Whipple relict of Gen John Whipple who died Feb 18 1837 in the 83d year of her life, (22) In memory of Pardon Whipple, Lieut, son of William, USN Veteran c1791-11 May 1827, (23) In memory of Hannah Whipple wife of Samuel, c1819-27 Jan 1892, (24) In Memory of Samuel Whipple Veteran of Revolutionary War, c1758-17 Oct 1809, (25) In memory of Deborah Whipple wife of Samuel c1757-1 Nov 1831, (26) In memory of Joanna Whipple 2d daughter of Samuel c1781-22 Oct 1784, (27) In Memory of Joanna Whipple daughter of Samuel and Deborah c1796-26 Aug 1832. Some of these headstones are no longer legible. The authors were unable to find either headstone number 23 in June 2004, nor number 23's relationship to the family. Also, headstone number 22, a box tomb, was found to be next to Sarah Whipple wife of Capt. John. At least five burial plots, scattered out among the Whipple headstones, are unused or the headstones long since have disappeared. All the headstones are in immediate need of repair.
  142. Blaine's article on John's wife: "It is obvious that the information on Sarah is unreliable, and there is no way to know if the information on John is correct." There had been small, organized bands of Caucasians (primarily male fishermen) living in and around the later to-be-named Massachusetts Bay area immediately before and after the settlement of Plymouth in 1620. The numbers were so infinitesimal, however, as to obviate a significant probability that Sarah had been born there. Blake, Annals of Dorchester, 77-78. More likely, since the Whipples had lived in Dorchester most of her adult life, those who had her gravestone carved naively assumed it to have been her place of birth.
  143. Dorr, 222. "By the fourth generation they sought to preserve the memory of their English lineage. There was, until late in the century, but little encouragement of such workmanship in the Plantations. The earliest headstones must have been wrought in Boston or Newport. They were made here by the middle of the century. These were probably all of Braintree slate, so enduring and so plainly sculptured, which abound in the old section of the North Burial Ground. But by 1760, there were monuments which might compare with sculptured stones which an earlier generation had imported from England. So late as 1796, the earliest marble slabs of no extraordinary pretension were ordered from Attleborough." The Whipple headstones are made of Braintree slate.