by Dr. Charles M. Whipple, Jr., Edmond, Oklahoma
Barbara R. Carroll, Exeter, Rhode Island
December 18, 2003
This treatise reviews documentation sources and historical literature on the fifth through seventh sons of Captain John Whipple of Providence, Rhode Island, and their immediate Rhode Island descendants. The western movement across the American frontier by later representative descendants of each brother chronicles the continued influence of these three families on subsequent generations. This is the second in a series of articles included in a book presently being written by the authors on the life of Captain John Whipple and his descendants. (See: The Louquisset Brothers for the first article). As such, it is a work in progress. Comments, additions, and documented corrections are solicited. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com. The next article in the series will feature John Junior, Jonathan8 and the three daughters.
The children of Captain John and Sarah Whipple lived out their lives within ten miles or so of the old home place on North Towne Street in Providence. Benjamin and David, like their brothers Samuel, Eleazer, William, and Jonathan, earned their livelihoods as farmers--Benjamin three miles northwest of Providence and David about five miles to the north. Their oldest brother, John Junior, became an attorney, noted civil servant, and successful politician in Providence. But it was Joseph who alone became a member of that select society historians have since christened the "merchant princes"[ 1 ] of colonial Rhode Island. It was he and John Junior who broke free from the drudgery of the soil to establish themselves as the most successful of second generation Rhode Island Whipples in the new world.
It would be instructive to know what a family reunion of second and third generation Whipples would have looked like in the year 1743 (the year Joseph Junior was elected Deputy Governor). It is not certain that such could have been possible. For as shown herein, only a few wealthy Whipple lime manufacturers and textile mill owners, plus a hand full of military officer descendants of the farmer brothers would likely have been invited to Newport for such an occasion--it would have violated social protocol. Early New England colonial society, similar to Old England, maintained strict social distinctions--even to the extent of dictating the style of clothing that various classes of citizens could wear, particularly women. The gap between social classes that emerged in just one or two Whipple generations would have been striking.[ 2 ]
Benjamin and David, in all probability, lived the life style of the typical Rhode Island farmer of the time. Each was consistently referred to as a yeoman (farmer) in written records of the time.[ 3 ] Their families likely continued to attend local Baptist churches, and as custom dictated associated principally with those of like social and religious sensibilities. That their children could read and write is problematic. "The widespread dislike for learning produced a general disinterest in education in that day being largely centered in scholarly debates about dogma. Since neither the Quakers nor Baptists, the two predominant groups in the colony after 1676, were interested in scholarly debates... few books were published. No one thought it necessary to found a college, and few sent their sons to Harvard or Yale. The absence of a professional clergy and an established church was also largely responsible for the absence of a public school system. The emphasis upon a spirit-filled, rather than head-stored, clergy left in the colony's intellectual and cultural life a vacuum that was not filled until the Anglicans and Congregationalists established churches."[ 4 ] It was Joseph, after converting to Anglicanism, who helped establish Providence's first public school.
In stark contrast to rustic lives the farmer brothers and their immediate descendants would have led in a frontier existence in primitive northern Providence Township, Joseph's family lived sumptuously in Providence and Newport. The estimated population of rural Cumberland Township was about 500 (100 families) in the year 1700; the Fruit Hill area a little less. Newport's upscale urban inhabitants numbered over 2000. When Cumberland petitioned to become separated from Smithfield Township some 50 years later, it "consisted of one hundred and twenty families or thereabouts."[ 5 ] It is noteworthy that the 6 January 1746 petition of Bristol County, Massachusetts (which included Cumberland) to become part of Rhode Island was addressed to "The honorable William Green Esqr. Governor of Rhode Island and to the Honorable Joseph Whipple Esqr. Lieut.Governor..."[ 6 ] The petition included the names of several of David's yeomen descendants; the petitioned was their cousin Joseph Whipple Junior, the family's second merchant prince.
The merchant princes of Providence and Newport wanted not only an efficient economic order "they wanted well-paved roads, solid wharves, street lighting, fire protection... Nor did men of property care to be accosted by drunkards, beggars, and cripples asking for alms as they passed by. So they combined enlightened self-interest and Christian benevolence... Elegant new churches were built, ostensibly to honor God. Parks and shady walks made Sunday strolls or carriage rides fashionable--and of course enabled the wealthy to demonstrate their status by their equipage and dress. The rich lost their pious Puritanism and decided to live well. Their wives were expected to entertain lavishly which necessitated large, well-appointed homes, many servants, fine plates and silverware and furnishings... Black slaves also had to dress in a manner befitting their master's station, and their uniforms became increasingly costly, until some wore wigs and buckled shoes."[ 7 ] Even the most perfunctory perusal of Joseph's Last Will and Testament and Inventory of goods shows a remarkable resonance with the above, even to the status of his six slaves.
It is of interest that the name of each of Captain John Whipple's fifth through seventh sons was associated during his lifetime and afterward with well-known local physical land features of late seventeenth century Rhode Island. The designation, the "Whipples from Fruit Hill," has come down through the centuries synonymous with Benjamin Whipple and his immediate descendants. As seen herein, Solitary and Wolf Hills appear in association with Joseph Whipple and his sons. Then again, Joseph Whipple Junior and family would have been known to their kinsmen as the unapproachable politically powerful inhabitants of "The Hill," the colony's capitol city of Newport. But without question, the most historically noted land purchase among second generation Whipples was the acquisition of "Study Hill" by David Whipple. Through this purchase, the Whipple name became inextricably linked to one of early New England's most colorful characters, and a putative founder of the colony of Rhode Island.
It would appear that for whatever reasons, Joseph was his father's favorite. In Captain John Whipple's Last Will and Testament, Joseph, aged 20, received what seems to have been the choicest parcels of land in and around the town of Providence, including the highly coveted original property on North Towne Street.[ 8 ] At the same time, Benjamin and David aged 28 and 26[ 9 ] each received in separately declared terse sentences, "a right of land in the late division which is already made out to him." These inherited properties were raw backwater forest and meadow areas approximately five miles apart, which had been awarded originally by proprietary right to their father in the 1660s. Each division amounted to less than 100 acres, although Benjamin eventually increased his share to encompass some 300 acres. David essentially traded his original 65 to 70 acres for the Study Hill property that was, incidentally, located in another colony. He was thus the first of Captain John and Sarah's children to leave Rhode Island.
While Joseph may have been the model son of Captain John's old age, Benjamin and David could have early on been considered the bad boys of the family. Benjamin was arrested, approximately one month before Captain John drafted his will, and charged with "breaking the law and misbehavior." As a teenager, David became the father of a child out of wedlock. It does not appear that their parents made any attempt to interfere with the criminal process or subsequent legal adjudication. And in the case of David, chose not to bear the financial burden of their son's youthful indiscretion. Although a tremendous financial hardship, which took David over a decade to repay, his father appears not to have interfered. The photograph below shows Joseph's broken headstone (second from the right on the third row back). The headstones of Captain John and Sarah Whipple are the fourth and fifth to the left of Joseph, next to the box tomb.[ 10 ]
As discussed herein, the two older brothers differed from the younger in the above and other ways. Joseph was elected on numerous occasions to high political office in the colony. Benjamin and David seem to have eschewed such involvement. At ages 50 and 54 respectively, Benjamin and David were the shortest lived of the eight sons, at 85 Joseph lived the longest. Benjamin and David were buried in unknown graves while Joseph was buried in a place of honor near his mother and father. Similar to ninety percent of colonial Rhode Island residents, the older brothers lived out their days on earth modestly as tillers of the soil. Like his father before him, Joseph became a successful entrepreneur, indeed, the family's first "merchant prince."
Benjamin Whipple, the fifth son of Captain John, was christened at Dorchester, Massachusetts, 4 June 1654, and died at Providence, Rhode Island 11 March 1703/04. He married Ruth Mathewson, the daughter of James Mathewson and Hannah Field, 1 April 1686 at Dedham, Massachusetts, she dying after 1740. To this couple six children were born.[ 11 ]
Later descendants of Benjamin and Ruth have written proof that traces their ancestry back for well over a millennium. "The ancestor of the Field family, the first of whom there is any record, was Hubertus de la Feld, who went to England with William the Conqueror in the year 1066 from near Colmer in Alsace, on the German border of France. He was of the family of the Counts de la Feld, who trace back to the darkest period of the middle ages, about the 6th century."[ 12 ]
"I give unto my son Benjamin, a right of land in the late division which is already made out unto him." This sole succinct sentence in Captain John Whipple's Last Will and Testament of 1685 is all that is known of thirty-one year old Benjamin's relationship with his father. Along with his younger sibling, David, their inherited farms were the smallest of the eight brothers. And at their respective deaths, they seem to have been able to bequeath only a meager legacy to their children. Perhaps in the case of Benjamin, this paucity of worldly goods can be explained by his early death at the age of fifty, the shortest life span of any of the brothers. He waited rather late in life to get married, resulting in his children's under age status at the time of his death--the second son, Josiah, being already deceased.
I Benjamin Whipple of the Towne of Providence in the Coloney of Rhode Jsland & Providence Plantations in the Narraganset Bay in New England; being sick & weake of Body, but of Sound & perfect Memory, doe make this my last will & testament; making Null & Revokeing all & every other Will at any time heretofore by me made either by word or writeing, & this Will only stand in force. Jmprimis. I do Comit my spirit unto God who gave it, & My body unto the Earth, to be Decently buried, by my Executrix herein-after named
Jtem. I doe Give & Devise all my lands at my home dwelling, (to say) my whole ffarme unto my two sons (namely) Benjamin Whipple & John Whipple, to be Equally devided betweene them, to be unto them their Heirs & Assignes for ever.
Jtem I doe Give & Devise unto My son John Whipple my dwelling house & land standing & being by the salt water side in said Towne of Providence, to be unto him his Heirs and Assignes for ever.
Jtem. I doe Give & bequeath unto my loveing Wife Ruth Whipple, all & whole My Moveable estate, Goods & Cattell out of which sd Estate my said wife shall deliver & pay unto my aforesd two sons (to wit) Benjamin & John, Each of them three milch cowes, to be delivered unto them, as each one of them attaine to the age of Twenty & one yeares, & at that time: The which sd Cowes I doe Give & bequeath to Each of them.
Jtem I do Give & bequeath unto My three daughters (namely) Ruth Whipple, Mary Whipple, & Abigail Whipple, Each of them three Tenn Pounds, and by their said mother, my said wife to be paid unto Each of them at the day of Each of their marriage, or within one month after, or at the age of Twenty & one yeares; the which shall first be; And that all the Remainder of my sd Moveable Estate, after or besides the aforsd Legasyes shall whole be at the dispose of my said wife for her owne.
Jtem. I doe order & dispose all my aforesd Children to my said wife, unto her Tuission, care, Custody, bringing up & Provideing for, until their marriage; or the time of the age of Twenty one yeares, the which first Cometh; and that all my said Children shall be in subject unto their Mother my said wife;
Jtem I doe Give unto my sd wife the whole Proffitts & management of all my sd lands & houseing until my sd sones attaine unto ye age of Twenty & one yeares; and when ye Eldest of my sd Sones (to wit) Benjamin doth attaine to the age of twenty & one yeares, then shall the sd land be devided unto Each of My sd sones his part; yet not withstanding I doe give unto my sd wife the one third part of all the proffitts of my sd lands duireing the Time of her widowhood: the which shall be one halfe of it out of one of my sons part, & the other halft out of the other of my sones part; but if my said Wife doe againe, Marrie, then at her Marriage, then her sd third part of the Proffitts of sd lands, as to her shall wholly Tirminate & Cease, & be unto my sd two sons.
Jtem I doe give unto my son Benjamin Whipple my dwelling house in which I doe now dwell to be unto him his Heirs & Assignes for ever; And at the Time of his attaineing to the age of Twenty & one yeares, he shall & may Enter & possess the Westerne Part of said house; but all the Easterne part of the said house shall be unto my said wife for her vse dueiring of her Widdowhood; but when shee doth marrey, or depart this life, whichever; then my said son shall Enter & possess that End of said house also.
Jtem I doe also give & bequeath my Barne & all my out houseing unto my sd son Benjamin whipple, his heirs & Assignes for Ever, to enter Possession & Take it into his hands & improvement at Twenty & one yeares.
Jtem. But in Case it shall so fall with my wife that shee fall to Poverty & be not Capable to maintaine herselfe with what I have left her, then shall my sd two sons take care of her, & supply her wants with suteable maintenance; And that the aforesaid Teen Pounds to be paid unto Each of my three Daughters, is to be paid unto Each of them Tenn Pounds in money, or in other good pay which may be Equall with money.
Jtem I doe Constitute & appoint my said loveing Wife Ruth Whipple to be my sole Executrix, who shall receive all my debts to me from any Person due, & to pay all debts from me due to any Person, and to see my body decently buried, & truly to Execute and performe this my last will and testament according to the true meaneing & intent thereof; Jn witness thereof I doe hereunto set my hand & seale the Ninth day of March Annoq Domini, one Thousand, seven hundred and three; 1703/04. Benjamin, his mark.
The inventory of his moveable estate was approved 13 June 1704, amounting to approximately 99 pounds, including thirty sheepe, eigthteene head of Neat Cattell & one horse---the most penurious movable estate of Captain John's sons.[ 13 ]
Approximately four years later, the widow Whipple was brought to court. "You are hereby required in her majesties name Anne Queen of Great Britain to arrest the Body of Ruth Whipple Widow & relickt of Benjamin Whipple [?] ... to answer the complaint of John Whipple of sd providence in the Colony aforesaid eldest son and heir of John Whipple of sd providence ... for wrongfully withholding from the plaintiff the possession of certain tract of parcel of land laying within the township of sd Providence ... being upland arable land meadow and orchard by estimation twelve acres with the mansion house fences and edefies ... plainly set forth damage four hundred pounds currant money of New England."[ 14 ] The disposition of the suit is unknown.
Benjamin Whipple was also indicted for a breach of law, on 28 March 1682. "Newport Court Book A -- General Court of Trials held in his Majesty's name at Newport: Benjamin Whipple of Providence was indicted by the general solicitor for breach of law and misbehavior. He was mandated to appear in Court. He 'put his exceptions' to the bill." The court considered the matter and sided with the defendant.[ 15 ]
Benjamin Whipple appeared in Providence Township records on several occasions. The following is a chronological listing of a summary of these taken from The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 Volumes, (Providence: Snow & Farnum, 1893-1903). Individual entries are noted with the volume number and page.
It is assumed that Benjamin earned his livelihood as a farmer. He bought a small ocean front warehouse lot from his eldest brother John. But at his death, a decade later, this land and dwelling house, "being by the salt water side in the towne of Providence" bequeathed to his five year old son John, was not shown to have been developed into a wharf for commercial purposes. His inherited land was at "Fruit Hill," about three miles northwest of his father's property in what is now the town of North Providence.
"Eighteenth-century settlement was sparse with most of what is North Providence today divided into five farms held by Richard Pray, John Smith, Epenetus Olney, John (Benjamin) Whipple and Thomas Angell... Villages, as such, did not come into being until the early nineteenth century. There were only two eighteenth-century settlements in present-day North Providence: one, a small cluster of farmsteads at Fruit Hill; the other, a mill site with a few residences located at Centerdale on the Woonasquataucket River. A dam had been built there as early as 1702 and several sawmills and gristmills were constructed nearby... Fruit Hill was settled in the eighteenth-century century by the Olney Family. It was a rural community containing both a church and a school, when residential suburban development began after the Civil War. The vicinity is named for the many fruit trees, especially cherry trees that abound. The construction, in 1891, of the Fruit Hill Reservoir ... and the area's proximity to Providence made it a popular residential neighborhood by the turn of the century, quite fashionable with successful businessmen... The area has maintained its quiet, well kept residential quality with a good mix of 18th-century and mid-19th century dwellings."[ 16 ]
The youngest son of Benjamin was John. Little is known of him except that he lived to be approximately the same age as his father. "March 15, 1736, John Smith sold the farm (in Centerdale) to John Whipple, who probably bought it on speculation, for he soon afterwards, on January 6th, 1737, sold the same to Nathaniel Day..."[ 17 ] John married Bethiah Salsbury 17 June 1722 at Providence. To this couple seven children were born including Jabez, a sea captain, who like his uncle Benjamin Junior, lived to be 99 years old. He was married five times. Of his five children, two were sons, Jabez and Arnold. Jabez died at age 17 on the Isle of Martinique, no issue. Arnold5 (Jabez4, John3, Benjamin2, John1) married Phebe Dexter6 (Phebe5, Benjamin4, William3, William2, John1) 12 September 1812. "Phebe Whipple, who died in 1879, was the great granddaughter of William Whipple Junior, and the granddaughter of Benjamin his son. Her grandmother, Jerusha Peck Whipple, died 21 May 1766 (probably giving birth to her mother Phebe Whipple Dexter, daughter of Jerusha and Benjamin, who was born 20 May 1766). The first date on the common monument at Moshassuck Cemetery is 1766. Also, her husband, Arnold Whipple, son of Jabez, was the grandson of John Whipple and Bethiah Salsbury. The third name on the monument is Salsbury."[ 18 ] This is illustrative of the typical later intermarriage patterns of descendants of Captain John's children, in this case, sons four and five.
Benjamin Junior was born at Providence, Rhode Island, 11 November 1688, and died in his 100th year 27 April 1788 on his property of 300 acres located in North Providence where he was employed as a currier, farmer, tanner and shoemaker. It was while engaged in the latter occupation that he lost a leg at the age of 75.
Benjamin Junior and his two wives had a total of 16 children: eight by each wife. He was married first in 1722 to Sarah Bernon, daughter of Gabriel Bernon and Esther Elroy Bernon, wealthy and erudite French Huguenots, who fled to the colony of Massachusetts on revocation of the Edict of Nantes.[ 19 ] Bernon and his family moved from the comparatively cultured environment of Boston to Rhode Island where, "By contrast the cultural strivings were weak. Though the French immigrant, Gabriel Bernon, praised the intellect of his new neighbors in the 1720s, and a few people of cultivation were on the scene in subsequent decades, they amounted to a small coterie. A few physicians with diverse interests, a lawyer or two..."[ 20 ]
It was Bernon's influence that is credited with raising the initial sums of money to build the first Anglican Church in Providence, of which the major contributor was Benjamin Junior's uncle, Colonel Joseph Whipple. Perhaps it was the Joseph Whipple family who introduced Benjamin to his first wife. "Tradition refers to Gabriel Bernon, a French Huguenot, who came to this country at the revocation of the edict of Nantz, as one of the earliest members of the Church of England, in this town. It is supposed that it was through his influence that the missionary at Newport occasionally visited and preached at Providence, and that it was at his house that the meetings were holden. This house occupied the site of the brick house, No. 149 on North Main Street, and a part of it is still standing in the rear of that house."[ 21 ]
Records of North Providence town meetings show that Benjamin Junior, on 24 October 1768, paid for keeping Hannah Field, and paid for making a coffin for Elizabeth Pain. On 5 June 1769, he again paid for keeping Hanna Field. "3 June 1776 Benjamin Whipple of North Providence, yeoman, will take the indenture of Freelove Martin, a poor child, daughter of Rachel Shaw until she becomes 18." On 28 August 1787, Benjamin Whipple was paid for supporting Abigail Fletcher in her last sickness and for digging the grave.[ 22 ]
Of Benjamin Junior's eleven sons, most were farmers. His 300-acre farm was parceled off to several of these sons. Benjamin III settled on a part of the homestead farm about a half-mile south from his father's house. Daniel was a farmer and lived near Fruit Hill. Ephraim was a farmer and settled on a part of the homestead farm near Fruit Hill. He was a man noted for his piety and sound judgment. He was a leading member of the church. Benegar was a farmer and settled on a farm in the town of Gloucester, Rhode Island, then moved to Cooperstown, New York. Joseph was a farmer and settled in the town of Plainfield, Connecticut. Descendants are in Wisconsin and Illinois. Benedict settled on a farm in the town of Scituate, Rhode Island. John was a farmer, tanner, and currier. He owned a farm near Fruit Hill where his grandfather first settled. He was a deacon of the Baptist Church at Fruit hill for many years. Jesse was a farmer and moved to Killingly, Connecticut. Descendants are in Newport, New York. Stephen lived about twenty years at Fruit Hill, and then removed into Massachusetts, settling in the town of Cheshire. Descendants are in Rutland and Shaftsbury, Vermont, and Burlington, New York, and Roscoe, Illinois.[ 23 ]
The house that Stephen Whipple built (157 Olney Street) while a resident of North Providence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. "Facing south-southwest on a plateau near the top of Fruit Hill, the Whipple-Angell-Bennett House is a rectilinear z-plan dwelling with three distinct sections... The Whipple-Angell-Bennett House is significant to the history of architecture because of its ability to document vernacular architecture of the third quarter of the eighteenth century ... as its setting changed from open farmland to suburban residential neighborhood.
"History of the property's ownership helps to illuminate the evolution of the house. On 30 July 1766, Stephen Whipple (1735-?), a shoemaker, purchased approximately fifty-five acres of the family farm at Fruit Hill from his father Benjamin (1688-1788), and soon began construction of his 'Home Stead Farm.' (Pawtucket Land Evidence Records, Book 1, Page 45, and Book 2, Page 6). In 1776 he moved to Chester, Massachusetts, and sold the property to his first cousin Jabez Whipple (1734-1833). William Angell bought the property in 1822, and his son William H. Angell ... sold the property in 1872, and the property changed hands five times in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries until purchased by the Reverend Edmund C. Bennett in March 1921. By 1921, the property was reduced to approximately 7500 square feet, its current size. It remains in Bennett ownership until 1995. The more intact of only two surviving gambrel-roof farmhouses in the Town of North Providence, the Whipple-Angell-Bennett House is typical of modest rural Rhode Island farmhouses of the mid-eighteenth century. The story-and-a-half, gambrel roof, center-chimney form commonly occurred across the state throughout the eighteenth century, and a number of examples are listed in the National Register. The property nominated includes all of North Providence Tax Assessor's Plat 8 Lots 451 and 698. These two parcels are all that remains of the land historically associated with this property."[ 24 ]
"By the turn of the nineteenth century, the characteristic two-and-a-half, five-bay gable-roofed, center-chimney farmhouse was the most common form of dwelling--as can best be seen in the Stephen Whipple House at 430 Fruit Hill Avenue, built c. 1778.
"370 Fruit Hill Avenue. Whipple-Hawkins Homestead (c1778). Originally a two-and-one-half story Federal style dwelling with a gable roof and center chimney; the house has been enlarged by the addition of several wings and the entrance is now surmounted by a Victorian door hood, flanked by oriel windows. 430 Fruit Hill Avenue. Stephen Whipple House (c 1778). A two-and-one-half story dwelling with a gable roof, a large center chimney, and a central doorway with side lights. This house and the house at 370 Fruit Hill Avenue were owned by Stephen Whipple in 1835. This structure was sold to Whipple's son-in-law Francis Mann, in 1842. It is now part of St. Mary's Home for Children."[ 25 ]
In addition to those states above into which the later descendants of Stephen Whipple, the grandson of Benjamin Senior, settled, is to be mentioned Howard Whipple, of Northfield, Minnesota, and Turlock, California.
Howard Gregory Whipple8 (Abram7, Asa6, Oliver5, Stephen4, Benjamin3, Benjamin2, John1) "... was born 18 August 1881 at Northfield, Minnesota, son of Abram Olin and Mary TenBroeck Whipple. His first paternal American ancestor was John Whipple, who came to America from England around 1630 and settled in Dorchester, Mass. From John and his wife, Sarah, the descent was through Benjamin and Ruth Mathewson, Benjamin and Esther Millard, Stephen and Zilpha Angel, Oliver and Polly Hatch, and Asa and Esther Olin, the grandparents of Howard G. Whipple. His father was a lawyer, teacher, banker, and public official. The son received his preliminary education at public schools at Devils lake, N.Dak., and at Carleton Academy, Northfield, Minn., and was graduated B.A. in 1903 at Williams College. Immediately after his graduation from college he entered his father's bank, the First National Bank of Devils Lake, and in 1906 he was named vice-president of the bank as well as of banks in Churchs Ferry, Starkweather, and Lakota, N. Dak.... In 1914 he acquired interests in and became president of the First National Bank of Turlock, Ca.... In addition, he was the organizer in 1929 and thereafter president until 1931 of California Lands, Inc., San Francisco, a subsidiary of the Transamerica Corp. Whipple resumed active business life in 1950, when he joined the San Francisco investment securities firm of Pflueger & Baerwald, with which he remained associated until the close of his life. A recognized authority on banking matters, he served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco during 1925-28 and was at various times called upon to testify before the Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C., and before the committees on currency and banking of both houses of the U.S. Congress. He also was a frequent contributor to banking and economic journals and delivered numerous addresses before national organizations. Active in civic affairs in his earlier years, he served as a member of the park board while a resident of Devils Lake and as chairman of the City Planning Commission in Turlock. He was president of the California Bankers Association in 1936-37, the California League of Independent Bankers, and also held membership in Theta Delta Chi and the International Wood Collectors Society, which he served as president from 1955 until 1957. Politically he was a Republican. Much of his leisure time was devoted to writing, and his other recreational interests including woodworking... He was married in Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 11, 1915, to Eugenie Valeska, daughter of Bruno Edward Fink of that city, a businessman, and had three children: Gregory TenBroeck, Gerald Howard, and Janice Marr, who married Alan Simon. Howard G. Whipple died in Berkley, Calif., Mar. 2, 1959."[ 26 ]
David Whipple, sixth son of Captain John Whipple, was christened 28 September 1656,at Dorchester, Massachusetts, and died 18 December 1710, at Rehoboth, Massachusetts. He married first Sarah Hearnden Gregory 15 May 1675, at Hingham, Plymouth Colony. She died 2 April 1677. Their child was David Junior, born before 30 October 1674.
The second wife of David, whom he married 11 November 1677, was Hannah, daughter of John and Margaret Tower of Hingham, Plymouth Colony. She was born 17 July 1652, and died in 1722. To this couple seven children were born.[ 27 ]
David became the father of his first child at the age of 17 while the mother was married to another man. The record of the resulting trial shows that both were punished under strict colonial law. They endured the prescribed alternate punishment of paying a hefty fine rather than being whipped. A speedy divorce was granted to her allowing them to wed when the child was about six months old.
"The jury found David Whipple guilty of having a child by Sarah Gregory. The Court sentenced David Whipple to be whipped on October 30 with fifteen stripes, or to pay a fine of forty shillings to the General Treasurer and pay officer's fees. Upon indictment by the General Attorney against Sarah Gregory for fornication committed with David Whipple of Providence, she being in court called and being asked whether or not she was guilty, she owned that she had a child by David Whipple, who she said was her husband, and referred herself to the Court's mercy.
"The Court sentenced Sarah Gregory, referring herself to the bench concerning her indictment, knowing that her husband was a filthy man before he went away from her and strayed from her, not intending to be a husband, he broke that bond. However, the Court did not permit that it was lawful for her to be married, or to live as married, or to commit whoredom with any man, and therefore her sentence for having a child with another man, as for fornication, was to be whipped with fifteen stripes or to pay forty shillings to the Treasurer. If her husband did not come home in twelve months time, she may have liberty to marry as soon as the law permits, but she was not prevented from marrying sooner if lawful cause appears. She also was to pay officer's fees.
"David Whipple and Sarah, the daughter of Benjamin Hearnden, both of Providence, were sentenced to pay four pounds to the General Treasurer for not attending to the Court's order, and if they marry before the Court it will be a lawful marriage. They were married by Court the 15th of May 1675."[ 28 ]
David and his new wife apparently paid their fines with borrowed money. In November of 1686, John Sanford wrote to John Whipple Junior, David's brother and the Providence town clerk, concerning various overdue accounts. He charged that David's debt was over 12 years due. "To Ensign John Whipple at Providence and respected friend kind salutations promised your former kindness and realety, hath so much incouraged me that I am hereby inboldened to give you further trouble so that concerning those particulars relating to myself when I was last with you... He (David) conscientiously knows that he promised me true and faithful payment both for himself and his wife, the due fees on both to me being about four and thirty shillings, was due in October 1674 twelve years past, and I hope my patience and long forbearance thereof will not encourage him not to be willing to pay me at all. And although my due be as aforesaid, yet for my promise safe to you I will now be content to take thirty shillings provided it may be forthwith sent to me in money or good currant pay equivalent for his asserting he paid my due to Sergeant Rogers I conceive there can be no truth therein for I am satisfied in my own mind I never gave him order to so do, neither did I give him an account of what was my due, and therefore admire how he should demand and receive mine, And I am certain he never gave me account thereof... Postscript. Please remember that the winter is come and we must expect frost and snow, pray let me hear from you by the time."[ 29 ] The resolution of this case and David's defense is not known.
In the Captain John Whipple Last Will & Testament of 1685, David's legacy is announced in one terse sentence, "I give unto my son David, a right of land in the late division which is already made out to him." This refers to the 4 March 1683 "deede signed by John Whipple Senr & Sealed. Be it knowne unto all people by these presents That I John Whipple, Senr of ye Towne of Providence in ye Colleney of Rhode Island & Providence plantations in New England for divers good causes & considerations me moveing: and namely for the Settling of my son David Whipple, for his Comfortable livelihood have given ... sixty acrs of land (be it more or less) and also a percell of Boggy or Tussickey Meaddow in Esteemation five acrs (more or lesse)..."[ 30 ] This property was located approximately three miles south of the farms of his brothers Eleazer and William next to the Moshassuck River.
David and Hannah, and their growing family, lived uneventfully on this farm for the next nine years, at which time they bought the property of John Blackstone, the son of William Blackstone, a farm approximately two miles east and along the Blackstone River in the township of Rehoboth. By virtue of moving to Massachusetts Colony David became the only son of Captain John to leave Rhode Island. Because of its significance to historians in general this deed is presented here in its entirety.
"To all Christian people before whome this deede shall come, I John Blaxton of Rehoboth in the County of Bristoll formerly in the Colony of New plimouth; but now of Massachusetts in New England. (Shoemaker) sends greeting. Know ye that the said John Blaxton for a valuable consideration of currant pay of this country in hand already will & truly paid unto him by David Whipple (husbandman) inhabitant of the town of Providence in the Narragansett Bay in New England:
"The receipt whereof to the said John Blaxton does owne & acknowledge & ... to be fully satisfied contented & paid Hath given, granted, Bargained, sold, enforced, assigned, and confirmed: And by these presents for him and his heirs, Executors, Administrators ... fully and Absolutely Give, grant, Bargain, Sell, and Assign and Confirm unto David Whipple to Him and his heirs, Executors, Administrators & Assigns for ever, his house & lands (that is to say) his mansion house & misusage on the East side of the River called Pantucket River, and lying and being within the provinces of Rehoboth aforesaid. The misusage or parcel of land being by information one hundred and fifty acres (more or less) being layd out & bounded & is situated on the playne called the right playne, & the land adjacent; and is bounded to the northward to the land of Isaack Allin, to the southward the land of John Harreson; to the westward Pantuck River; to the Eastward, part of it to the land of John Stevenson, and part of it to the highway, and part of it the undivided land, There running a countrey highway through it to Pantucket River. In recompense, or satisfaction for which highway allowed and layd out; two acres adjoining to the aforementioned land, being bounded by the highway Eastwardly and the aforementioned land westwardly, and southwardly by a small run of water; the which said two acres of land on the northwardly side of the Country highway next the house. The other part of the said twenty acres of land is bounded round, by the undivided land. The said hundred and fifty arcres of land is upland, swamps and meadow ground, With all and singular the privileges to the said house and hundred and fifty acres of land belonging. And all the estates, right, title, interest, use, property, possession, clayme and demand whatsoever of him the said John Blaxton in or to the same or any part of To Have and To Hold the said mansion house and said hundred and fifty acres of land as aforesaid unto the said David Whipple his heirs, executors, administrators and assignes forever."[ 31 ]
William Blackstone was the first Englishman to settle permanently in what is now the township of Cumberland, Rhode Island. He was an ordained Anglican clergyman, from Boston who raised fruit trees, farmed, and preached to the Indians. At one time, he was reputed to have held the largest library in New England. Blackstone was ostensibly quite misanthropic. Asked why he had moved to the wilderness he retorted, "I left England to get from under the power of the Lord Bishops, but in America I was fallen under the Lord Brethren (Puritans)."[ 32 ] In 1635, he moved to the extreme southern end of the township and established a home, which he called "Study Hill." At present, the Ann and Hope Mill occupies the old property in what is now the town of Valley Falls. Roger Williams moved into the area the following year about five miles to the south. A few historians have insisted that Blackstone is the true founder of Rhode Island. Notice the Whipple Bridge on the map below with Study Hill Road and Ann and Hope Mill Way immediately to the right.
"Occasionally he (Blackstone) went to the village of Providence, sometimes to expound the teachings of his church. To attract an audience, at first he tossed apples to passersby. He attained minor fame riding a bull, for want of a horse, on these journeys to town or his rarer excursions to Boston."[ 33 ] The Whipple family children undoubtedly enjoyed these entertaining irregular visits to Providence.
On 4 July 1659, Blackstone married Sarah Stephenson of Boston, which resulted in the birth of their son, John. Subsequent to Blackstone's death in 1675, the courts of Plymouth Colony appointed a guardian for the child. It was this son who sold this parcel of history to the Whipple family. According to George Carroll Whipple III in his 1999 book, The Illustrated History of the Whipple Family in America, 1631-1987, "Study Hill" stayed in his branch of the Whipple family until the year 1871.
David Whipple appeared in township records on several other occasions. The following is a chronological listing of a summary of these taken from The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 Volumes (Providence: Snow & Farnum, 1893-1903). Individual entries are noted with the volume number and page.
David Whipple continued to live an apparent non-descript, bucolic life in his newly adopted colony for the last 18 years of life. He was noted in township records on a total of five occasions.[ 34 ] Original wording and spelling has been preserved.
One year before David left Rhode Island, by moving to the north side of the Blackstone River, Plymouth Colony had been merged with Massachusetts. Although there were at least three families of Whipples concurrently living in the general area (see the above 7 November 1699 entry) they were likely descendants of the Ipswich, Massachusetts Whipples (of which no common English origin has been proven for the two families). This shows that early on members of the two great families of Whipples in America likely first commingled and intermarried in this area.
The next descendants of Captain John Whipple to move to Cumberland were children of his third and fourth sons. Descendants of Eleazer settled in the north as early as the year 1716, and in the central part those of William in the mid eighteen-century. However, David was the first to move back to the colony that his father had abandoned thirty-three years earlier. In time, "members of these three families intermarried creating a great deal of confusion for later generations of genealogical researchers."[ 35 ]
"The Whipple family figured so prominently in the settlement of this area that it is surprising that it wasn't known as Whippleville. Ensign David Whipple was the first of this name to arrive in Cumberland ... and settled near the present Ann and Hope Mill. Whipple Bridge, which crosses the Blackstone just west of this area, is named for this family... Perhaps one of the most interesting buildings in the area was the 'Tower' or 'Biscuit' house, built by Benjamin Tower. In 1698, Benjamin Tower married Deborah Whipple, the oldest daughter of Ensign David Whipple... The term 'Biscuit' house is said to have referred to the number and nature of the additions to the building."[ 36 ]
"Located on a steep south-north slope on the east side of Diamond Hill Road, just north of the intersection with Fairhaven Drive (2500 Diamond Hill Road), the Whipple- Jenckes House is a mid-eighteenth-century, one-and-one-half story, weathered-shingle- sheathed house with an asymmetrical four-bay façade (entrance in second bay from west), flank-gable roof, and parged brick, off-center chimney... Early maps, deeds, and other sources indicate that an earlier house, referred to as a blockhouse and later used as a boatbuilding shop, was sited a short distance north and ease of the house into the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries...
"The Whipple-Jenckes House is significant as a well preserved example of mid- eighteenth-century rural vernacular domestic design, and illustrated the evolution of the half house to a full center chimney form. It is also of local historical interest for its broad associations with the development of the town of Cumberland. Built by a member of one of Cumberland's early settlement families, the house remained in that family for several generations, and became one locus of two of the town's important nineteenth and twentieth century economic pursuits: small-scale boat building and farming. Although its setting has been altered by mid-twentieth-century residential development, the Whipple- Jenckes House possesses integrity of location, design, materials, workmanship, and association. It meets National Register criteria C at the local level.
"The Whipple-Jenckes House was constructed by Samuel Whipple beginning about 1750, when he inherited this property from his father, William Whipple. At that time, the property also contained an earlier house, which is sometimes referred to in deeds as 'Samuel Whipple's old house' and in secondary sources as a 'blockhouse.' Its construction date is not known, but it stood immediately northeast of the present house well into the nineteenth century. Diamond Hill Road was one of the area's first primary north-south roads and is described in early deeds as the road between Providence and Franklin, Massachusetts.
"Although William Blackstone had built a house in Cumberland about 1635, consistent settlement of the town did not occur until the cessation of active hostilities between the Native Americans and the European settlers at the end of King Phillip's War in 1676. Ensign David Whipple of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and the grandfather of Samuel Whipple, was one of the earliest settlers of the Diamond Hill area. In 1692, he purchased land on the Blackstone River from William Blackstone's son John Blackstone, and built a house in the vicinity. Upon his death the land passed to the next generation, and about 1750, Samuel Whipple (1718-1780), inherited the land on which the Whipple- Jenckes House stands from the estate of his father, William Whipple of Attleborough. No actual deed of inheritance has been found, but the transfer is referenced in a deed of other lands from Israel Whipple to Samuel Whipple in 1752 (Book 2:83, 10 /4/1752).
"Samuel Whipple built the house standing today in two phases between about 1750 and 1780. Expansion likely occurred in response to the growing size of the family, which numbered seven daughters at his death on 19 August 1780... In his will, he left the use of his personal and real estate to his wife, Elizabeth Whipple. Further pieces of the estate were bequeathed to seven daughters and two grandsons (Probate Records 5:385, 388-389, 1780). The main portion of the property passed to Hannah Whipple Wilkinson...and her husband. In 1797, they sold all their rights to...their son-in-law David Sheldon...By 1812, David Sheldon had purchased the remains of the estate from the heirs of Samuel Whipple...and deeded the property to his son James Sheldon for $600...In 1847, Liberty Whipple Jenckes (1829-?) whose relationship if any to Samuel Whipple is not known...owned the property until 1903. His name has been commonly associated with the house, as it appears on nineteenth-century maps and remained in oral tradition well into the twentieth century... In 1903...the property was purchased by Owen and Maggie Murphy for $1530. Between 1940 and 1988, the property changed hands several times and in the mid-1950s was subdivided, creating the present small lot. The house has lost its agrarian outbuildings and setting, but remains valuable as a simple, relatively unaltered, mid- to late-eighteenth-century, vernacular house, and as an excellent example in Cumberland of its type and period. ..The Whipple-Jenckes House ably illustrates the kind of houses built by the town's yeoman farmers and settlers in the first century of town formation...The nominated property boundaries are defined as Town of Cumberland Assessor's Plat 24, Lot 126."[ 37 ]
Ensign David Whipple died 18 December 1710. His will was dated March 24, 1709 and proved January 8, 1711, his wife being named Executrix. To sons David, Israel, Jeremiah, and William, he left money, having individually deeded certain lands previously. Jeremiah was deeded the Study Hill property. His wife, Hannah, was left land, and "best bed, the rest of household goods, money, cattle and personal property. To Joseph Cowell, 10 pounds; to son Jeremiah Whipple 20s; to daughter Deborah Tower, a feather bed, chest and half her wearing apparel; to daughter Sarah Razee, feather bed, and half of wearing apparel: to four children, Israel and David Whipple, Deborah Tower and Sarah Razee, the rest." The property inventory included such items as, wearing apparel, plates, books, 5 beds, arms and ammunition, 2 trunks, purse, 2 wheels, 14 gray churns, hogg fatt, 28 barrels of cider, cattle, goats, horses etc.; plus "a 50 acre lot that had belonged to Solomon ??, land and meadow on the south side of the way, and land that lyeth by Benjamin Towers." The total value of the inventory, including land, was just over 292 pounds.[ 38 ]
The eldest of David and Hannah's children was Israel, who died in 1720. A guardian (Mr. Henry) for his four children was subsequently appointed in 1727, ostensibly his widow's new husband.[ 39 ] "Israel's son Nathaniel and five of his sons moved to Richmond, N.H. in 1767 as first settlers. Nathaniel's son Ichabod had a son Ichabod Jr. who was our Mason Whipple's father... Mason was born May 3, 1796 in N.H. and died April 14, 1880 in McDonough, N.Y. Mason left N.H. May 3 1819 (so says his son Mason Jr. in a letter) to come to McDonough. There he took up a piece of land on a road now known as the 'Chapel Road' near the first intersection. He began to clear a place for a log house. His granddaughter Mrs. Lucius Deeming of Syracuse says that 'the original log house was still standing some years ago.' One sometimes thinks that the present generation little knows or cares for the sturdy strong characters who built up our country..."[ 40 ]
The youngest son of David Senior was William. It is he who often has been confused in genealogical literature with his first cousin William son of William.[ 41 ] William's oldest child was apparently born out of wedlock. At the Court of General Sessions held at Bristol on October 13, 1704, and on the second Tuesday of January 1705, the Court took the following action. "William Whipple of Rehoboth (being accused of being the father of a bastard child). Eliza wilmoth, not capable to appear, William was ordered to come to the next Court. Elizabeth wilmarth of Rehoboth, Singlewoman was bound to appear at the court and found guilty of Fornicating. She was ordered to pay 40 shillings. William Whipple, the reputed father was ordered to pay her 3 shilling per week and post a bond of 50 pounds."[ 42 ] There is no record of a marriage between William and Elizabeth. Their child, William Junior, who was not mentioned in his father's Last Will and Testament, was a respected citizen of Providence, dying there in 1785. The only son of William Junior, Ezra Whipple5 (William4, William3, David2, John1) was mentioned in his father's will as "living with the enemies of this country,"[ 43 ] that is, fought for the British in the Revolutionary War. However, he appears to have been the exception for enumerable Whipples fought in that war on the American side, many with distinction and uncommon valor. A representative example from the David Whipple family was Daniel Peck Whipple5 (John4, William3, David2, John1). Daniel, a physician, was the son of John and Sarah Peck Whipple. He was born in 1752 in Cumberland and died there 19 May 1814. "He served as a surgeon on the sloop 'Katy' ... under the command of Commodore Abraham Whipple ... (and) as an assistant director in the General Hospital of the RI Second Continental Battalion..."[ 44 ] Many of these veterans, and their immediate descendants, went on to make extraordinary contributions to the American way of life. Such was the case with another descendant of David, Cullen Whipple7 (Welcome6, John5, John4, William3, David2, John1). "He resided in the city of Providence, and was a ... great mechanical inventor. To him the American Screw Company is indebted for many of their valuable machines for making screws. He died Oct. 23, 1858 aged 67 years."[ 45 ]
The second of David Senior's sons was Jeremiah who early enlisted in the military. "The General Court on 29 November, 1707, sent the following Company to Port Royal (5 p.689 and 690). The officers were: Jared Talbot of Taunton, Captain, Samuel Peck of Rehoboth, Lieut., Jeremiah Whipple of Cumberland, Ensign. This company was partly composed of Indians."[ 46 ] In 1709, Jeremiah was appointed to the position of surveyor of highways. He is last heard of when he petitioned to the court, "praying that he may have the Liberty of Ercting a fence with a good convenient gate acrosse ye country Rhoad that leads from Attleboro to providence Dureing that space of Time that the Bridge over Patucket river stand and is passable..."[ 47 ] As will be discussed in more detail later, two of Jeremiah's sons graduated from Harvard University, Bela, a surgeon, in 1774, and Oliver in 1766. Of the many other notable descendants of Jeremiah, through his oldest son David, perhaps none has received more notice in genealogical literature than Bishop Henry Whipple.
Henry B. Whipple7 (John6, Benjamin5, David4, Jeremiah3, David2, John1) was Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota from 1859 until 1901. "Except for churchmen, the name of Henry Benjamin Whipple now means little. But for almost 40 years this energetic square-jawed, hard traveling Episcopal Bishop of Minnesota was a U.S. figure to be taken seriously; a man of affairs who exerted his influence from the poverty stricken, remote frontier post of Faribault, Minn.; a missionary who was denounced by Senators and generals for his defense of the Indians after the Sioux outbreak in 1862; an ecclesiastical leader who conferred with Queen Victoria and Abraham Lincoln, preached in most of the cathedrals of England and turned downed the bishopric of the Sandwich Islands because he thought his work in Minnesota needed him more."[ 48 ]
"Right Reverend Henry Benjamin Whipple, Bishop of Minnesota; b 15th February 1822, at Adams, New York; d 16th September, 1901, at Faribault, Minnesota ... Received his theological training under Rev. Dr. W.D. Wilson later of Cornell, University. 26th August 1849, was ordained Deacon by Bishop Delancey in Trinity Church, Geneva, New York. The following February ordained Priest in Christ Church, Sackeet's Harbor, and immediately thereafter called to Zion Church, Rome, New York. In 1856 was called to establish the first Protestant Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois. Among his parishioners were Generals Burnside and McClellan... 1859, was consecrated first Bishop of Minnesota at St. James Church, Richmond, Virginia... He was loyal and fearless in protecting the rights of the Indians in Minnesota, against unlawful aggressions on the part of unscrupulous whites. He stood preeminently as the most rational, just and enlightened man who had any dealing with Indian affairs and for his sincerity and directness the Indians gave him the name of 'Straight Tongue.' He gave clear warning of the Indian massacre that occurred in 1862. Was appointed on many commissions by different Presidents of the United States. In 1888 by request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Whipple preached the opening sermon of the Lambeth Conference at Lambeth Palace, London. From the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham he received the honorary degrees of D.D. and LL.D., and D.D. from Hobart College. One 3rd June, 1897, by a request of the preceding year, he preached in Salisbury Cathedral at the great service in commemoration of thirteen hundredth anniversary of the baptism of King Ethelbert, the first Christian Saxon king, with a congregation of seven thousand persons, a procession of seven hundred bishops and vested clergy and fourteen hundred choristers... It was said by many ... that Bishop Whipple seemed to have reached the zenith of impassioned out pouring of spiritual truths, striking the keynote of everything most needed in the Christianization of the world... m. (firstly) 5th October, 1842, Cornelia Wright, b 10th November, 1816, d. 16th July 1890, dau. of Benjamin and Sarah (Ward) Wright of the families of Pell and Ward of New York; m. (secondly) 22 November 1896, Evangeline (Marrs) Simpson only dau. of Francis and Jane (Van Poelien) Marrs of Massachusetts, and widow of Michael Simpson."[ 49 ]
It is not known why bishop Whipple married a second wife who was almost 40 years his junior, or would he likely have approved of her later behavior. "Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy widow, was the long time lesbian friend of Rose Cleveland, the spinster sister of President Grover Cleveland... Several letters between them have been preserved... When bishop Whipple dies in 1901, Evangeline waits the required year, and then abruptly leaves for Europe and never returns to the bishop's Minnesota... The two women lived together in Italy... until Rose dies in 1918. Evangeline dies 12 years later, having directed her executors to bury her in Italy beside Rose and another woman friend..."[ 50 ] After the bishop's death, she paid for the expensive chime of bells in the Cathedral Tower in his memory.
Bishop Whipple was laid to rest under the Altar of the Cathedral of our Merciful Savior, Faribault, Minnesota, on Friday afternoon September 20th, 1901. On the outside of the tower built in his memory, are these words: This tower is the Thanksgiving of many People for Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first bishop of Minnesota, and is the Symbol before men of the Supreme value of a Righteous Man.
Bishop Whipple and his first wife, Cornelia, had six children including Charles Henry Whipple and John Hall Whipple. John died early, without issue. "Brigadier- General Charles Henry Whipple, U.S.A., retired, of Los Angeles, California; b. 12th June, 1849, at Adams, New York; m. 5th December, 1871, at Cincinnati, Ohio, Evelyn McLean, b. 5th July, 1851, dau. of Gen. Nathaniel Collins McLean, b 2d February, 1818, d 4th January, 1905, m 5th September, 1838, Caroline Thew Burnet, b. 26th August, 1820, d. 15th April, 1856, and gd.dau. of Justice John McLean of the United States Supreme Court. Charles Henry Whipple was educated at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire; from 1871 to 1881. Cashier Citizen's National Bank of Faribault, Minnesota; 18th February, 1881, appointed Mayor and Paymaster, promoted Lieutenant-colonel and Colonel in the Pay Department of the United States Army; appointed Paymaster-General of the Army with rank of Brigadier-General 1st January, 1908; retired 15th February, 1912."[ 51 ] General Whipple was the author of The Whipple-Wright, Wager, Ward-Pell, McLean-Burnet Families, a genealogy published in 1917. He died in Los Angeles, California, 6 November 1932, at the age of 84.
Colonel Joseph Whipple, the seventh son of Captain John Whipple, was born at Providence in 1662 and died there 28 April 1746. He married Alice Smith, daughter of Edward Smith and Amphillis Angell, 20 May 1684 who died 20 July 1739. They were the parents of 12 children.[ 52 ]
"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 Clemons, his dwelling: also I give unto my son Joseph my share of meadow near Solitary Hill, and 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 ... also I do make my son Joseph my executor: also my will is that my son Joseph do see that I be decently buried." With the above legacy acquired by virtue of his father's Last Will and Testament in 1685, the newly weds Joseph and Alice began the process of becoming one of Providence's leading real estate owners of the early eighteenth century.
In his earliest years, Joseph, like his father became a successful innkeeper and businessman. Through the profitable marriages of his children, shrewd business contacts, and hard work, he built up a sizeable financial fortune--by far, the largest of any of Captain John's sons. As the town grew so did Joseph's mercantile enterprises. Providence's rival, Newport, was the recognized seat of economic and political power from the 1660s through to the end of the Revolutionary War. All the same, eventually Providence became a success among the secondary Rhode Island mercantile centers. The town meeting of Roger Williams' old home place began to grant small lots--twenty to forty feet square--along its waterfront for wharves during the 1680s. Samuel Whipple, one of Joseph's older brothers, was the recipient of one such grant.[ 53 ] And, as noted, Benjamin Whipple became owner of ocean front property in 1682. Another of the earliest grantees was Gideon Crawford in 1687. He married Freelove Fenner, daughter of Captain Arthur Fenner who was as close to being a merchant as anyone in town. The Crawford- Fenner enterprise prospered for years. After Crawford's death, his widow carried on the business, rearing up her two sons to commerce. These sons, who died in their 20s, married daughters of another up-and-coming trader, Joseph Whipple.[ 54 ] The Crawford brothers may have died too young to give continuity to an economic dynasty, but their wives and father-in-law, decisively did.
Building on the political base commenced by his father in the 1660s and 1670s, and continued by his oldest brother John, Joseph was early on elected to the Providence Town Council, and beginning in 1698 served in the colony's General Assembly in Newport for almost two decades. Additionally, in 1719, he was commissioned a Colonel of the militia on the mainland.[ 55 ]
With the possible exception of John, who may have converted to the Society of Friends,[ 56 ] Joseph was the only brother apparently to discontinue membership in the Baptist church. And, although the wife of Joseph Junior and some of their children were members of the Society of Friends, the remaining children and in-laws lived out their lives as Anglicans. The Joseph Whipple family bequeathed one of their real estate holdings on the north end of Benefit Street, to construct Providence's first schoolhouse, called Whipple Hall. Then, in 1722, St. John's church, originally King's church, the first one of the Anglican persuasion in Providence, received 100 pounds (the largest amount contributed) from the family toward its completion. The below is a drawing of St.John's Church, built in 1722, demolished in 1810. From a drawing made by Zahariah Allen, in the RI Historical Society Library as shown in Kimball, Providence in Colonial Times, p. 164.
A leading Anglican clergyman of the time was James Honeyman. "Gabriel Bernon wrote to Mr. Honeyman , concerning the future prospects of building Kings Church. He mentioned as the 'three chief men' were Colonel Whipple, Joseph Jenckes, the Lieutenant Governor, and Judge Waterman, a man of very good parts."[ 57 ] By changing religious denominations, the Whipples were riding a crest of the wave of social aspirations among those who sought increased prestige by closer association with the Church of England. "The Anglican Church began with few avowed communicants but quickly attracted the newly rich and powerful... The Anglican celebration of kingly power ... the celebration of rank and hierarchy in this world and the next ... enhanced the satisfaction they grew from their new affiliation."[ 58 ]
In addition to the numerous times Joseph was elected to political office,[ 59 ] he repeatedly appeared in other Providence Township records. The following is a summary of a chronological listing as extracted from The Early Records of the Town of Providence, 21 Volumes, (Providence: Snow and Farnum, 1893-1903). Individual entries are noted with the volume number and page. As much as possible, original wording, spelling, and punctuation are retained.
Colonel Joseph Whipple died 28 April 1746. His will was proved 19 May 1746. "To son Joseph, farm on Chapatset Hill, in Glocester; also 100 acres in Glocester, near Wolf Hill, &c. To grandson Joseph, son of John, land toward southern end of Providence, and dwelling house west side of Town Street, land on Weybosset Plains, &c. To daughter Alice Young land. To son John, my homestead and all other farms in Providence, Smithfield and Glocester, undisposed of, reserving half acre at the burying place in my homestead 'for the generations that shall proceed from my line forever.' To daughter Sarah Crawford, 300 pounds, reserved by executors for her support, and at her death half of sum to her surviving children. To daughter Alice Young, Negro girl Sarah, a cow, and 30 pounds. To daughters Ann Lippitt, Susannah Dexter, and Amy Gibbs, 300 pounds each. To grandson Jonathan Bardin, son of daughter Mary, deceased, 300 pounds. To grandson Joseph Dexter, son of daughter Susannah, 100 pounds, at age. Inventory, 5,292 pounds. viz: books, sword, pistols, cutlass , canes, bonds 3,640 pounds, 5 feather beds, 5 flock beds, clock, 24 chairs, 10 cushions...6 negroes viz. Caesar, Aaron, Jeffrey, Betty, Jenny and Phebe." A summary of the will is found in Beaman. "Joseph Whipple, of Pr. merchant, now grown ancient and well stricken in years. Will dated 20 Jan 1743/4, proved 19 May 1746. pgs. 193-195. Mentioned: 2 sons, John Whipple and Joseph Whipple. Daughters Alice Young, Sarah Crawford is to be supported, Ann Lippitt, Susannah Dexter, Amey Gibbs, and Mary Borden dec. Grandson Joseph Dexter under 21, son of daughter Susannah Dexter. Brother John Whipple. Witn: Thomas Olney, Thomas Hardin, & Daniel Smith."[ 60 ]
The total of Joseph's movable estate was approximately 10,000 English pounds including six slaves. This was, by far, the largest estate of any of Captain John's children. John, Joseph's oldest son, appears to have received the largest share of land. Joseph Junior, by this time, was a successful entrepreneur and wealthy in his own right in the colony's capitol city of Newport, and was soon to become Deputy Governor of the Colony.
When Henry E. Whipple wrote his 1878 history of Rhode Island Whipple families he appended an article written by Henry R. Chace entitled "Part of the Whipples in Early City History." Among others, Chace contended that, "When Col. Joseph Whipple died in 1746, he and his son, John, were probably the largest owners of valuable real estate in Providence, the accumulation of three generations. The Whipple family in the third generation numbered nearly 100 descendants, most of them living on farms that had been laid out by the proprietors to their grandfather, the first John... The death of Col. Joseph Whipple removed the most active merchant in town and the recognized head of the large and wealthy family bearing this name... The accumulation of land by the Whipples ceased about 1740, and for the next 50 years the home lots that had remained as originally laid out ... were cut up into small parcels and sold..."[ 61 ] Chace may have been disingenuous, or at least inaccurate, in his contention that Colonel Joseph's son Joseph graduated from Harvard College in 1720. However, as will be shown, Joseph Junior's son, William, did graduate first in his class from Harvard in 1749. Being placed first in his 1745 entering freshman class indicated just how powerful and socially prominent the Joseph Whipple family had become by its second generation. The photo below is of the broken headstone of Joseph Whipple Senior.
Whether due to mere fortuity or preternatural insight, Captain John's choice of his 20 year old, seventh son to serve as executor of his estate and to see that "I be decently buried," proved wise. Because of his eventual social prominence and wealth, Joseph was allowed to purchase extensive grave space in the town's common cemetery. Sometime between the years 1710 and 1746, he had his parents remains moved from their house lot to the cemetery. This was, most likely, accomplished closer to mid century because, at that time, Providence asked that the remains of the town's earliest citizens, buried in family home plots, be relocated to a central area in the North Burying Ground. Parenthetically, it has been suggested that perhaps only markers "in memory" of his parents were set up at Joseph's burial property location, and their remains left where they lay.[ 62 ] At any rate, the head stones of Colonel Joseph Whipple and wife, his son John and wife, several of John's children and spouses, plus other of Joseph's descendants, as well as those of Captain John and Sarah Whipple can yet be viewed on Dahlia Path in the North Burying Ground.[ 63 ]
Captain Joseph Whipple Junior was born at Providence, 30 December 1687, and died between the months of May and July in 1750.[ 64 ] He married first Anne Almy, in Newport, about the year 1712, their four sons dying in infancy. The date of their deaths were: Joseph, 23 September 1713; Christopher, 11 January 1716/17; Joseph, 28 September 1717; William, 16 December 1720. Anne died 12 days after the death of her last child, 28 December 1720. The children, and their mother, were buried in Newport's Common Burial Ground. Joseph married next Sarah Redwood, at a Friends meeting in Newport, 1 March 1721.[ 65 ] She and Joseph had nine children.[ 66 ]
It could be said of Joseph Junior that, like most of his brothers and sisters, he married well. It has been contended that he would have had to be a member of the Society of Friends before his marriage to his first wife, she being related to the Almys of Portsmouth, noted Quaker farmer- ranchers. However, a "Joseph Whipple" was known to have maintained a parishioner relationship to Trinity Anglican Church in Newport.[ 67 ] One of the Almy family, Christopher, served as a special representative for the colony to England in the year 1693.[ 68 ] Job Almy was the Whipple's next-door neighbor in Newport.[ 69 ]
His second wife was the daughter of Abraham Redwood and Mehitable Langford. The Redwoods were recent, 1712, arrivals from Antigua, West Indies. He was known to be a business associate of Joseph Whipple before his marriage to their daughter. Ship owner, merchant, slave owner, plantation owner, and philanthropist, Abraham Redwood was one of the richest men in the colony, whose fortune derived from plantation interest in Antigua. He was founder of the library (of which Joseph was an original trustee) that bears his name. In the later stages of life, he came into conflict with other members of the Quaker faith due to the use of human slavery. Redwood and his son Abraham Junior's livelihood depended upon slaves to maintain operation of their plantation. In his will, he left 500 pounds to establish a Friends' School and the same amount to be given to the founding of a college of Rhode Island, provided it would be built in Newport.[ 70 ] The college, now Brown University, was instead built in Providence.
It would have been to Joseph's economic advantage to convert to the Society of Friends, and certainly his Redwood marriage would have provided an economic advantage. "By the 1680s, the Quakers had gained a virtual monopoly on Rhode Island's trade. From 1672 to 1677, the Friends controlled the government of the colony, and frequently thereafter one of their numbers occupied the office of governor (and deputy governor). Close to one-half of the colony in 1690 belonged to the Society of Friends."[ 71 ] The Quakers were good at "keeping their trade within themselves and maintaining a strict correspondence and intelligence over all parts where they are."[ 72 ]
Joseph's success as a trader could have been a boon to Whipple relatives, who likely invested heavily in his mercantile shipping adventures. Northern Providence Township, where most of them resided, was a region of small farms but prolific families, mostly Baptists, Quakers, or the irreligious. Vegetables and fruit products from the farms of Benjamin and David Whipple, and their many cousins, would have seen their way to Joseph's wharves. And as previously shown, in time several Whipple families became successful mill operators and lime manufacturers, who likely depended heavily on him to see to it that their products safely reached domestic and foreign markets. And like most of their fellow colonists, likely cared not whether these trading ventures were sanctioned by London.
England was at war with Spain and France during these decades, thus forbid trade with the enemy, in particular with the enemy's colonies in the West Indies--where most of Rhode Island's trade was centered. Typically, Rhode Island merchant/ship owners simply ignored London's dictates, including Joseph Whipple. If caught by the British, the penalty suffered was loss of both cargo and ship.
"In the illicit traffic with the French, the officers and crew were interested in the venture of the cargo. In 1747, the brigantine Victory, owned by Joseph Whipple, a merchant of Newport, was captured by his Majesty's sloop Hind. She was libeled as a lawful prize concerned in illicit trade with enemies of the crown. The libel was lost, but the case was appealed. Meanwhile Cooper, the master, shipped at 20 pounds per month, New England currency, Downer, the mate, at 14 pounds, Vickers, a mariner, at 12 pounds, Concklin, a mariner, at 10 pounds, all sued Whipple for their wages. Whipple answered that he had received nothing from the vessel, and that officers and crew were concerned in the cargo, having 'goods of great value on board.' Judge Strengthfield decided that, the vessel having been released on bond, the mariners could have their wages on giving bond to restore them if the vessel and cargo should be condemned finally. Whipple paid the amount of wages into court under this decree... this shows clearly that the commercial business went forward ... always toward one end. That end was money and profit, parliamentary law and crown to the contrary notwithstanding."[ 73 ]
Rhode Island's notorious practice of trading directly with Britain's enemies went so far as to be criticized by other colonies. Even legitimate complaints by its own ship owners sometimes were ignored. "On Tuesday, July 18th 1749, one John Clarke, one of Mr. Whipple's shipmasters, informed Deputy Governor Ellery that a French ship was seen going by Conanicut, through the west passage. Our old friend Whipple and his captains seem to have had sharp eyes for detecting illicit goods on an alien and competing vessel. Deputy Ellery was not over-hasty, nor did he give information to the customhouse officers. He sent for Governor Green, of Warwick, who went to Newport and called a council. The council, 'on mature deliberation,' found they could not act in the affair..."[ 74 ]
Captain Joseph Whipple Junior was known to have owned at least one other ship, the Sarah. In 1730, one of Joseph's employees was caught in the act of taking 1000 "Hogshead Hoops" from a wharf. Subsequent trial testimony revealed that, "John Mitchell of lawful age, that he being Mate on board the sloop Sarah of which Capt. Joseph Whipple was chief owner, was 'ordered by sd Whipple to take one thousand of Hoops from off Mr. Goulding's Wharfe and carry them on bord sd sloop which accordingly I did, and while I was taking off sd hoops there came a man and forwarned me taking anymore and also bid me land them I had gott, but sd owner told me to go off with them I had gott.' Verdict for the plaintiff 5 pounds, damages, and court costs."[ 75 ]
An instructive, ongoing history can be gleaned from these and others of Joseph's ventures and adventures as recorded in court files, such as the incident of the youthful run away mariner. "A memorandum dated 29 September 1725, signed by Justices D. Updike and John Coddington stated that 'Caleb Kinion, Mustee ... who had deserted his Master Mr. Joseph Whipple for Some Space' was brought before them. 'We find that he hath put his said Master to great Charge in apprehending him and therefore order that he serve his sd Master for the Space of One Year and Eight months' [from this date]."[ 76 ]
Among other cargo aboard Joseph's vessels was that of slaves. "Bill of sale shown, from Joseph Whipple of Newport, merchant, for 70 pounds to Samuel Dyre ... sometime in September 1724, for a Negro man named Fortune... Jury verdict for the plaintiff.[ 77 ]
"Benjamin Norton was a Newporter, and apparently, a great-great-grandfather of Harvard University's Professor Charles Norton. In the fall of 1720, he and Joseph Whipple, merchant of Providence (and later Deputy Governor), had outfitted a brigantine to trade to the West Indies under Norton's command. In January 1721, she was attacked by pirates at St. Lucia and surrendered, apparently after very little resistance, to the most successful pirate of them all, an Englishman named Bartholomew Roberts. A few weeks later, Roberts captured a Dutch-built ship of 250 tons ... and entrusted the ship to Norton... Norton sailed the ship north, brought her into Tarpaulin Cove on Naushon, and got word to Captain Whipple of his arrival... Whipple, Christopher Almy (his father-in-law), and one Pease of Newport, as well as some others, came down to the Cove in sloops and took much of the cargo off and up to Providence before they were interrupted..."[ 78 ]
Joseph's possible conversion to the Quaker faith, or at least his marriage to the daughter of a prominent Quaker, and move to Newport was likewise necessary to a political career. In early to mid eighteenth century Rhode Island, political power resided only in Newport. On only one occasion did a governor reside outside of the island itself. "Even then, it was promptly voted that it was 'highly necessary' for the governor of the colony to live in Newport. One hundred pounds was allowed from the treasury to allow Governor Jencks to defray the charges of removing his family to Newport."[ 79 ]
Beginning in 1728, the eminent Anglo-Irish philosopher and theologian, George Berkeley, lived for over two years in Newport. Landing in Virginia, Berkeley found passage to Newport, where he intended to purchase a farm. The farm was to supply provisions for a proposed college in Bermuda while awaiting final arrangements for a subsidy from the royal treasury in London. To that end, "Berkeley purchased the ninety-six acre farm of Joseph Whipple and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Samuel Redwood ... in present day Middletown. Berkeley enlarged the dwelling house on it and named it 'Whitehall.' From early May 1729, Berkeley and his wife settled into their life, making plans for the future college and tending the property."[ 80 ] It is likely that Joseph was a member of Berkeley's inner circle, certainly his father- in-law Samuel Redwood was.[ 81 ] Berkeley founded a society for the promotion of knowledge and virtue that, "met in various choice homes, had sumptuous banquets, and, over good wine, discussed the latest political and intellectual news from Europe.[ 82 ] Could this association have inspired Joseph to see to it that his son, William, born in 1730, was properly educated at Harvard University? Among those[ 83 ] that Berkeley brought from Britain was the noted portrait painter, John Smibert, who inspired the local painter, Robert Feke, to paint many of the locals of the colony. It was Feke who painted a portrait of Joseph III.
On 27 July 1746, Joseph bought the birthplace home of his thirteen year old cousin, the soon to become Commodore Abraham Whipple, from his father Noah Whipple. Joseph Whipple III subsequently sold this property, 14 December 1750, to John Checkley, Rector of St. John's Church in Providence.[ 84 ]
Perhaps due to the economic power and the social influence of his extended family, as illustrated, Joseph served as Deputy Governor of the colony from 1743 to 1746.[ 85 ] At least four documents are known to exist that bear his name while in that office.[ 86 ] The documents' quaint phraseology, grammar, and spelling of the time are preserved. One letter was sent to Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, dated 29 August 1746.
"Gentn. Your Letter of the 25th instant came to Me in the Absence of Governour Green, and in Answer to which I am to inform You, That our Forces embarked the last week, and will be ready to join the Forces of the Neighbouring Governments If They undertake the Reduction of Crown Point. I should be glad to be inform'd Whether you carry all or what Part of the Provisions to Albany, which we designed for your Forces Provided They had gone up the River of St. Lawrence, and also what Quantity of Powder will be this Colony's Proportion. I am Gentn. Your most oded. Humble servt. Joseph Whipple. To his Excy. Shirley Esq. And the Honble P. Warren Esq, Boston."
Deputy Governor Whipple subsequently responded with a letter on 6 November 1746.
"Your Excelcy. Favour of the 4th instant came Safe with the Agreeable News of the French Fleet leaving the Coast, and the Canadians raising the Siege of Annapolis, and in the Absence of Governour Green, It falls to my Province to let Your Excelcy know That agreeable to a Representation made by You and the Honble Admiral Warren for our Men to be sent to Annapolis, the General Assembly immediately ordered the Same to be done, and I can now inform You That on Tuesday last our Three Companies sailed in the Three Transports under Convoy of our Colony Sloop for Annapolis with all the Able and healthy Men belonging to said Companies (being somewhat reduced by Several that have dyed and others that are now Sick) and hope they may be Instrumental by assisting the other forces to perform the necessary Operations for distressing the Enemy, and prevent their making any further Attempts on the aforesaid Place, and for the Preservation of Nova Scotia. Your Excelcy will always find this Government ready and willing to exert Themselves to the Utmost for his majesty's Service and Interest. I am with due respect, Your Excelcy's most obedient humble Serv. Joseph Whipple. To his Excelcy Wm Shirley, Esq."
Deputy governor Whipple from Secretary Willard of Massachusetts received a letter, dated 1 September 1746, in that the governor's wife had just died. It addressed Rhode Island's participation in the war with France in the colony of New York. The letter ends with, "I am Your Honour's most Obedient humble Servant, Josiah Willard. To the Honble Joseph Whipple, Esq."
One other very lengthy letter was received from Richard Partridge, the colony's agent in London, and dated Xber 15 1744. It addressed several concerns including the colony's Charter, its boundaries with Connecticut and Massachusetts, and Partridge's need for more money. A postscript may be of general interest.
"The war continues and I think likely to, tho' some imagine we shall have a peace by the Spring: we have had a pretty deal of damage done to the Shipping lately by Stormy Weather. The King of Prussia who had broke out again against the Queen of Hungary has now quitted Prague and all Bohemia and gone home with the loss of about half of his army and a part of the Q of Hungary's forces has entered Siletia and probably will retake it. Capt. Jephson is here and I suppose intends home as soon as convenient he c an, he has been taken by the ffrench and as he was coming for France in a St. Dominga Ship was taken in her by one of our Men of War. RP. To Joseph Whipple, Esqr. Deputy Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
There exists the possibility that Joseph Junior, though married into the Redwood family, was not himself a convert to the Society of Friends. As noted, records of Trinity Church in Newport evidences that he purchased pews in that sanctuary in 1726, as did his son Joseph III in 1752. Likewise, a second son, William, was known to be Anglican. "In 1745, the Harvard Faculty was being adamant against admitting late applicants, but on August 14 it agreed to 'examine Whipple (son of Capt. Whipple late Deputy Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island) in order to his admission in to College as a Freshmen, although it be out of Time, and especially in regard to his living in another Government, and may be suppos'd not to be acquainted with the College rules and Customs in that Affair.' So William was admitted, and was placed at the head of the Class of 1749, not, as some have thought, because of the fact that the Whipples were Narragansett Episcopalians, but because of the Captain's civil office."[ 87 ] But tragically William died less than one year after his graduation, on 23 June 1750. His college friends probably smiled sadly as they read his obituary: "His sacred Thirst of Knowledge discovered itself very early, and to cultivate so promising a Genius, his Father procured him the best Masters... As he was inferiour to none of his age, in useful Learning, Knowledge and Virtue, his Death is universally lamented."[ 88 ] For almost 150 years after its founding, the names of Harvard University students were arranged not alphabetically but in an order established for each class during the freshman year according to social rank. In the freshman class of 1745, William Whipple, son of Deputy Governor Joseph Whipple, was ranked first in his class by the faculty and administration, indicating the social and political position of the family, not just in his hometown or colony but also in the whole of the New England Colonies.
Captain Joseph Whipple Junior died between the months of May and July of 1750--most likely in June. His will was written 28 May 1750, and proved 2 July 1750. The fragmented document mentioned that he died of a "short but severe illness." One wonders that he may have died from a broken heart caused by the unfathomable death of his beloved son that same month. It is evident that he had put all of his wealth, influence, and love into educating the boy and likely was looking toward his joyous future, and that of the continuance of the powerful Whipple family legacy. It should be recalled that six of William's brothers and half-brothers preceded him in death. In his Last Will and Testament Joseph named his widow Sarah, daughters Alice, Amey, Mehetable, and Sarah; sons Joseph and William; grandchildren Christopher, Amey, and Joseph Sylvester, children of Amey.[ 89 ] It would have been instructive to know the amount of his worth including movable estate, considering the size of his brother's estate and that of their father.
The Honorable Joseph Whipple Junior, Esq, Deputy Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations, was possibly buried in an unmarked grave beside his first wife and their four infant sons.[ 90 ] It should be lamentably noted that even his two sons who did survive into young adulthood died without issue. It can be stated with regrettable assurance that with his passing, and that of the death of his father four years earlier, the Whipple financial empire reached its terminus. For within three years, his only remaining son would become financially insolvent and conclude a promising political career in disrepute.
Joseph Whipple III was born 3 July 1725 in Newport,[ 91 ] and seems never to have married. He must have been a remarkable young man, in his own right, to have ascended to the office of Deputy Governor at the unprecedented age of 24. Admittedly, his father, and others of his politically active and socially prominent family, likely made the way less tenuous. Likewise, they, and their political allies, as would seem not out of the question, could have been grooming the young man for higher political office.
Should there have been the customary victory dinner-dance following the political campaign of 1749, held in the Whipple's substantial, yet not ostentatious, country home near the Newport line in Middletown,[ 92 ] and described in Joseph's bankruptcy petition of 1753, as being quite large with an expensive gambrel roof, one could have witnessed a gathering of some of Rhode Island's most notable social, military, and political elites.
From among others of his own immediate family, come to share in his victory, likely was his brother William, the first descendant of Captain John Whipple to graduate from Harvard University. Then there could have been Captain John Whipple, his father's brother, and a well-known military officer and 'Bonesetter.' John's 15-year-old son, Joseph, likely was in attendance. His sons, Captain William Whipple and General John Whipple, soon would assume leading roles in America's war for independence.[ 93 ] Joseph's great aunt Freelove Whipple and her husband, Major Arthur Young, likely could have been there. Other relatives from the military hierarchy to attend could have been Captain Job Whipple and Captain William Whipple, Junior from Smithfield, as well as Colonel Stephen Whipple from Cumberland. Then there could have been the 16-year-old Abraham Whipple, grandnephew to his father, soon to become Commodore of the Continental Navy.
The victory party likewise could have numbered many of the colony's mid eighteenth-century political sophisticates, including close members of his own inner circle. There could have been Joseph Greene, husband of his aunt Amy Redwood Whipple, and nephew of Governor William Greene. Also attending could have been Phillip Wanton, from his aunt Sarah Redwood Whipple's side of the family, who was a cousin and nephew to four Rhode Island governors who bore that surname. Aunt Martha Coggeshall, his uncle Abraham Redwood's wife, a granddaughter of John Coggeshall of the early political dynasty of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, could have graced the party with her presence.[ 94 ] Also entering into the festivities could have been his aunt Ami Whipple and her husband Robert Gibbs, the son of Sir Henry Gibbs of Dorset, England. Then, an up-and-coming politician named Stephen Hopkins (Joseph's great grandfather Captain John Whipple's great grandson through his youngest daughter Abigail), who would become the colony's governor within just six years and go on to sign the Declaration of Independence, conceivably joined the festivities that night to share in his cousin's triumph. And the list goes on.
Robert Feke, who flourished c 1741 to 1750, painted the portrait above of Deputy Governor Joseph Whipple III in 1750. Oil on Canvas, 47 by 37 inches, it was auctioned at Sotherby's (Lot 1302, Sale 5968) on 26 January 1990, and sold for $25000. The auction catalog misattributed the painting as being that of Joseph Whipple Junior who became Deputy Governor at the age of 56. It further states, "He and his wife were Quakers, despite the fact that most other members of his family were Anglicans. Whipple's Quaker beliefs possibly accounts for the absence of a sword within the portrait."
The end of the all too brief political aspirations of the Newport Whipples was announced in a terse summary of the Minutes of the Rhode Island General Assembly. "Both houses resolved into a grand committee, on the second day of Nov., when the Hon. Joseph Whipple Esq., resigned the office of Deputy Governor, and therefore, the Hon. Jonathan Nichols, Esq., was chosen in his room, for the remaining part of the year, and engaged accordingly."[ 95 ] After four years in office, and at the age of 28, Joseph had become financially insolvent. "He was concerned in the mercantile operation, and the ruinous system of paper money was working its ruinous results. He surrendered all his property to the use of his creditors and received the benefit of a special act" (by the General Assembly).[ 96 ] Specifically, in May of 1753, he mortgaged the family farm that had been left to him in his father's will. Then, between the months of December 1753 and March 1754, over 25,000 pounds was raised from its sale, and that from other properties, to cover accumulated debts.[ 97 ]
Prior to the advent of the modern banking system, colonists borrowed money directly from the government in the form of paper scripts (it not having enough silver or gold to loan), usually with property as collateral. Due to the vagaries of war, by the year 1750, the majority of debtors could not repay. Rather than go into bankruptcy itself, the government called in all overdue notes at once. Concomitantly, paper script (which most possessed and conducted business with) was devalued at about half its original value. This meant that, for those not possessing silver or gold, twice as much paper was needed to repay their debts. Apparently, the Whipple family had borrowed heavily during the 1740s, gambling what venture capital was available to them, and, like so many other Newport ship owners, lost all.
"Rhode Island lost still more (than Massachusetts) in her commerce and business at home. Her bills depreciated about one half at once. This broke down her whole system of trade for the time. She lost a large portion of her active West India trade, and Joseph Whipple (III), one of her largest merchants at Newport, failed. She passed her first act in bankruptcy for his special relief, it being the first failure of consequence the colony had known... She had issued paper money more heavily than Massachusetts, she had less property as a basis, and received a smaller relative proportion of specie (silver and gold) from England... To have redeemed (all the paper money) outstanding, would have required a tax of nearly 14 pounds per head. This large sum could not have been collected."[ 98 ]
The collapse of a family fortune was not an uncommon occurrence in mid eighteenth century Rhode Island. The majority of those Newport merchants who filed for bankruptcy during this period were forced to do so primarily because of the trauma of war. The loss of just one of a family's ships to privateering or war ships during the protracted British, Spanish, and French conflicts of the 1740s and 1750s brought financial ruin to many Rhode Island business men. "The war spawned privateering and similar seafaring as well as battles on land...Vast profits flowed into the coffers of some investors, while others, such as Henry Collins and Ebenezer Flagg (and Joseph Whipple) suffered disastrous losses. During 1758, almost a hundred vessels were captured; during the whole war, sixty-five from Providence... Many were killed, ships sank or fell prey to the enemy, some merchants were ruined... Several major mercantile firms sank hopelessly into debt as a result of losses at sea...Internal division, rivalry over increasingly constricted commerce, death and debt, such were the consequence of the outpouring of patriotic bellicosity of 1739 to 1763."[ 99 ]
Financial setback became immediately apparent after the untimely deaths of Joseph's father and brother in 1750. This had been preceded, just four years earlier, by the death of his grandfather, the family's patriarch and putative founder of the Whipple mercantile trading empire. It is conceivably that Joseph had not had enough time and opportunity, or perhaps lacked the innate inclination of his forbearers, to develop those skills requisite to successful entrepreneurship. William, his Harvard University educated brother and potential business partner, mentioned in their father's will of 1750, but described as "late" in Joseph's declaration of bankruptcy three years later, was also deceased.[ 100 ] Not even the possible business acumen and social influence of his mother, and her Redwood kinsmen, could be relied upon, she having remarried in 1752 and moved to Boston.[ 101 ] Thus the under girding of a decades long foundation of unprecedented familial support was abruptly swept away well before his thirtieth birthday.
To his credit, it must be noted that Joseph was elected by his peers, to the second highest office in the colony for five consecutive years. He apparently was a good politician! The only known extant document bearing his signature is a letter written to the colony's representative, Richard Partridge, in London, dated 18 June 1749. It relates his administration's concern with the amount of money needed to pursue the war with France and other matters. "Sir, Letters I have lately received from You with that directed to the Committee who disposed of the Sterling Money on your hands have been communicated to the general Assembly; who have ordered me to inform You that on examining the Accounts of your Agency, they find four hundred Pounds sterling charged November 21st 1744, as a reserve in your Hands for future Services, for which they judge You ought to have given Credit, inasmuch as all the Expenses from that Time to this which hag been at on the Colony's Behalf are charged in your several Accounts, the Article of Eighty two pounds Sterling charged as a Loss on the Bills of Exchange you drew payable to Messrs Oliver and Phillips, the Assembly expect a further Explanation of the Equity and Reasonableness of before they can readily allow it, and as to the Article of Commissions for negotiating the Affair of the money advanced by this Government for the Canada Expedition, they have voted You two per Cent for receiving the same; as they have also an hundred Pounds Sterling as a Gratuity for your extraordinary Trouble respecting the Boundary line between the Providence of Massachusetts Bay and this Colony, the Remainder of your Account seems to meet with Approbation.
"You have herewith Sufficient Power to qualify you in behalf of the Government to receive the money we have advanced for paying the Officers and Soldieres raised for the Canada Expedition together with attested Copies of the muster Roles and the Oaths of the Committee who received the money from the Government to pay the Same, and doubt not as it was expended at the Request of the Duke of New Castle in Behalf of the Crown that we shall on your application be immediately reimbursed.
"As to Mr. Lockman's Petition relating to the naval office We doubt not but that the two acts of Parliament made in King Charles 2nd and King William's Reigns relating to said Office will sufficiently vindicate the Colony's Conduct in rejecting his Patent, and as to his Aspersions so liberally cast on Us, was his character as well known in London as it is in Rhode-Island he would not have Access to any publick Board to spread his false Reports which it is obvious are only the Result of his Disappointment."[ 102 ]
The particulars of Joseph's life from his resignation in 1754 until 1761, the year of his death, are obscure. It was left to the local newspaper, the Newport Mercury, to describe the final malevolent scene of an all too short and undeservedly anguished later life. "Joseph Whipple, formerly Dep.Govr. Facted, became intemperate (drunk), and was drowned from the Point Bridge, while returning from the theatre on the Point."[ 103 ] Records of his burial or possible wife and children have not been found.
It is interesting to speculate as to what might have happened to the Whipple fortune and political dynasty had not illaudable circumstances intruded. In reality, it likely would not have mattered if Joseph had been, as thought, like his mother, a Quaker. For after the war, Rhode Island Quakers decided they should avoid public office. "Gone was the hope that Friends could serve themselves and their society by holding the reigns of government. Instead, there was a new belief that holding office was itself a corrupting form of worldliness... Quakers should set an example of utter freedom from secular attachments... It ceased to embrace the old portion of the high and mighty... This change of heart signaled the end of Newport Quakerism... Between the expulsion of some who would not go along with this new spirit (would Joseph likewise have been excommunicated?), and the departure of others for Philadelphia or New York, by the end of the century, few of the rich and powerful Friends remained."[ 104 ] Possibly, immediately following his mother remarriage and move to Boston in 1752, he became a communicant in the church of his father and grandfather, for it is recorded that a "Joseph Whipple" paid for a row of pews at Trinity Church at that time.[ 105 ] At any rate, the Whipple surname does not appear in the Newport census records of 1774 and 1790.
The capricious vicissitudes of war, politics, banking, and untimely deaths dictated that the astonishing success story of the Whipples of Newport Rhode Island ended, or surely would have, in the late eighteenth century. Consequently, the mantle of high political office in the colony was withdrawn from the offspring of Colonel Joseph Whipple, and redirected to descendants of his youngest sister Abigail Whipple Hopkins. The life of Stephen Hopkins will be discussed in the next article in this series.
Samuel Rodney Whipple7 (James6, John5, Joseph4, John3, Joseph2, John1) the eleventh child and fifth son of James Whipple and Persis Sheldon was born at Westfield, Chautauqua County, New York, March 25 1823.
"His father was a poor farmer with eleven sons and a daughter... As a boy, Samuel's job was to pick up the rocks and boulders that seemed to grow better than any other crop on the farm. When he reached the age of twenty-one, Samuel left home and migrated to Wisconsin which had then been opened to settlement... Before long he accumulated enough money to buy a farm at Batavia, Illinois, where he met his future wife... She was born June 21 1830, in Essex County, New Jersey, the daughter of George T. Lambert and Hannah Snover. When her family moved west to Illinois, Charlotte boarded in Chicago at the home of Governor Boss while she attended the ladies seminary. She was nineteen when she was married in the Governor's home on November 28, 1849, to Samuel R. Whipple.
"In 1852, he sold out his holdings, outfitted a wagon for a six months journey, and traveled the Oregon Trail to Washington Territory. The arrival of 'Libbie' on August 10, 1852, delayed them for a few days and they reached The Dalles, Oregon, on September 19, 1852. Traveling down the Columbia River, they first settled on Sauvie's Island while Samuel looked at the possible locations for a land claim. He chose a 319 acre parcel at Lake River in Clark County and continued buying claims that were put up for sale until he owned over 1100 acres of land. His property extended from the side of the hillside close to the site on which the Knapp Railroad Station was later built. Dairy farming proved a lucrative business, with Samuel taking his milk and butter to Portland where he received good prices. A round trip took three days.
"In 1854, their son George was born, and in 1855 the Yakima Indians spread alarm through the community when they went on the rampage and a number of settlers were killed. It was the intention of the tribes of the Pacific Northwest to band together and drive the whites from the land. The settlers sought the protection of the forts or sent their families to St. Helens, Oregon. The men joined various fighting units and were gone for three months at a time...
"In 1856 Samuel was elected to the Territorial Legislature, where he served for two terms, and on February 1, 1859, he was appointed Postmaster at Lake River. An astute businessman, he sold his Donation Land Claim for $4 an acre, making a tidy profit. Retiring from farming and the dairy business, he moved his family to Vancouver where he traded in real estate. He was a member of the Town Council and in 1867 served a term as Clark County Assessor, giving him the opportunity to find good values in property.
"Although Vancouver was still a village, the population on Sundays largely increased for church services. The Whipples were active members of the First Methodist Church, where Samuel was one of the trustees... His wife passed away on March 28, 1884. Several years later, Samuel moved to Los Angeles, California, to live with his daughter Libbie, the wife of Columbus Brown. He died at the Brown home on February 28, 1907, and his ashes were returned to Vancouver and interred beside his wife at the Old City Cemetery.
"As the only son of two ambitious parents, much was expected of George Addison Whipple... When George was eight years old, his father sold the dairy farm and moved to Vancouver to have access to better schools for the children and to be nearer to their church. George attended the Vancouver Seminary and graduated in 1872. He then went to Willamette University at Salem... After graduation he taught school for about two years ... but his interest was not in teaching nor in business pursuits as his father thought it should be. His father gave him one hundred acres of land at La Camas Creek, about ten miles east of Vancouver and five miles north of Fisher's Landing. George bought an additional 208 acres. He cleared the land and built a cabin where he lived for the next two years. Neighbors were few and far apart; deer and bear roamed at will and sometimes a bear would kill his pigs... He married Clara Marsh April 21, 1878... The newlyweds were given a cow from his parents as a wedding gift. Clara and George rode George's horse and he led the cow to the new home he had built at his farm, eleven miles away. This cow was the beginning of George's dairy herd, which was successful for more then fifty years... He passed away March 11, 1936. Clara died three years later.
"George and Clara had four children including George and Lloyd. Lloyd managed his and his father's dairy until his death in 1964. George worked for the State Highway Department and farmed on the side, dying in 1952. These men and their wives had five daughters. Many of their descendants still live in the state of Washington under the names of Cramer, Stickney, and Fisher."[ 106 ] From a communication dated 27 March 2003, "I was very glad to receive your interesting message about Samuel Rodney Whipple of Vancouver, Wash. I have known about the Whipple Creek and the Whipple Condominium Complex in Vancouver but never knew for whom they were named."[ 107 ]
In a 2003 pamphlet "Deacon James Whipple, a Man of Mystery," Kenneth L. Vogt makes a telling argument that Samuel Rodney Whipple's father was the son of General John Whipple, although Henry E. Whipple[ 108 ] stated that he was childless. Vogt reasons that it may have been that James was his son by virtue of an extramarital affair, or as likely, actually was his and his wife Naomi Angell's child. The author paints a compelling picture of how a seven-year-old boy was uprooted from his Providence home (he was listed as a member of John's household in a 1782 census) in 1788 and sent to Springfield, New York in the company of Friends (Quakers?). The "Friends" or Tories could have been seeking escape from the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. If he was not her son, Naomi could have forced James to leave (along with his real mother?) just like Haggar and her son Ishmael in the Bible. "For a reason unknown, he sent his son with "Friends" to Springfield, New York. James was listed as one of the pioneers in Springfield for the year 1788. This was strange statement to give a seven year old boy. He grew up near 'The Eliakim Sheldon Farm' and married Persis a daughter of this noted former Massachusetts family. The custom of the time required the father to ensure his daughter would marry someone who was a good provider. He (James) must have continued to receive financial support from General John until he reached manhood."[ 109 ] Samuel R. Whipple was recorded to have stated on many occasions that, "My father left home when he was seven years old and never heard a word from his father or any other relatives from that day until his death. All that father knew or recollected was that his father's name was John and he kept a store in Providence, Rhode Island."