Fisherman's Home, Block Island
Swordfish Schooner, Block Island
Old Mill, Block Island
Falls of the Pawtucket River
Morning, Conanicut Island
Sunset, Newport Harbor
Swordfish Schooner, Block Island
A Mill at Block Island
Old Mill, near Newport, R. I.
First Flag, Colon v of R. I.
Falls of Pawtucket
Olympia and , Newport, R. I.
Old Fish House, Newport Wharf
Old Dock, Newport
Bonita, off Block Island, R. I.
My Casting for Blue Fish, Narragansett Bay
Bridge for Bass Fishing, Narragansett Bav
Newport, R. I.
Along the Shore, Narragansett
Fisherman's House, Narragansett
The following pcrst)ns ha\e been adniitted to member-
ship in the Society:
Rev. Clarence A. Barhour Mr. S. L'oster Damon
Miss Alice Braytqn Mr, Robert F. Seybolt
Miss Isabel R. Brown William H. Vanderbilt
Mrs. Charles H. Merriman
lV/;eji Dickens Met Clnuuiing and A Clarice at Chan-
n'lng^s FriendsJups^ are the titles oi two papers by Gran-
ville Hicks, which are based in part on letters preserved
in the archi\'es of the Rhode Island Historical Society.
They are printed in The Christ'ian Register of Boston for
July 18, September 5 and September 12, 1929.
Margaret Fuller as a Literary Critic, by Helen Neill
McMaster, is a monograph of KM) pages recently pub-
lished by the Uni\'ersity of Buffalo.
A letter of Joseph Wharton, dated Newport 1864, was
printed in the Bulletin of the Neivport Historical Society
for October, 1929.
The diaries of two Newport mariners, Jonathan Bar-
low and Nicholas Simons, 1724-1725, dealing with their
capture by pirates, which were edited by Robert F. Seybolt
and printed in the Nezv England Quarterly (II, 4), have
been reprinted in pamphlet forni.
An account of Gilbert Stuart as a Miniature Painter
appears in the October, 1929, issue of Antic^ues.
On October 8, 1929, Professor \'erner W. Crane of
Brown University gave a talk before the Society on Henry
Marchant^s Trax-els: A Rhode Ldander in England on the
Eve of the Revolution.
Mr. Arthur H. Armington has compiled a typewritten
I 6 RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
genealogy of the Armington Family, a copy of which he
has given to the Society.
The Society has recently been fortunate in obtaining a
manuscript orderly book of the Crown Point expedition of
1759. The book contains the name of "Samuel Stoneman
Adiut". Samuel Stoneman was Lieutenant in Capt. Chris-
topher Hargill's 10th Rhode Island Company in 1759
and Hargill's 5th Rhode Island company in 1760. He
was adjutant in 1 760 and perhaps in part of 1759.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Henry C. Dexter, the
gravestone of Governor Joseph Jenckes has been placed
in the Society's Museum.
A collection of eighteenth century manuscripts dealing
with colonial Newport, has been given to the Society by
G. Andrews Moriarty, Jr., F. S. A. Many of these papers
relate to the privateersman, Capt. John Rouse, R. N,
On October 28, 1929, the Colonial Daughters of the
Seventeenth Century, State of Rhode Island Society, dedi-
cated a memorial boulder and tablet at Rumford, East
Pro\'idence, commemorative of the founding of Rehoboth
near that spot in 1644. The inscription reads: "Here Rev.
Samuel Newman and Associates in 1644, Found Ample
Place, 'Rehoboth', for Their Plantation. Near This Spot
They Built Their First Church at the Centre of the 'Ring
of the Town'. Destroyed by the Indians in 1676, Rebuilt
and Enlarged Rehoboth Sent Its Children to Settle Other
New England Towns, Making to the Life of the Nation
Lasting Contributions Now Commemorated by This Stone
A typewritten \(jlume containing copies of the inscrip-
tions on gra\^estones in fi\'e cemeteries in Bristol, R. I., has
been deposited with the Society by the Bristol Chapter,
Daughters of the American Revolution. The transcripts
were made over thirty years ago by Jaines Augustus Mil-
ler, and the typewritten copy of them was made under the
dn"ection of Mrs. William Leonard Manchester.
Nezviy Disro-jered Miniatitres h\ Ed-zcayd Cieejie ]\[al-
bone is the title of a profusel\- illustrated article by Ruel
P. Tolman in the No\ember, 1929, issue of Antiques.
The Society has recently issued a volume of 99 pages
containing the Minutes of the Convention held at South
Kingstozi'Ji, Rhode Island, in March, 1790, irhich failed
to adopt the Constitution of the United States, with an
introduction by Robert C. Cotner and a foreword by Ver-
ner \V. Crane. This volume will be of great interest to
students of constitutional history.
The Bostoji Sunday Globe of September 8, 1929, con-
tains a picture of the watch tower built on Block Islanci by
Mr. Thomas T. Doggett to commemorate the location of
the signal pole on Block Island.
The Cjeorgiana Guild (jenealogical Collection, ci)nsist-
ing of the manuscript notes made by Miss Guild during
her many years of research, will be a mine of inestimable
value to genealogists. Through the kindness of her sister.
Miss Olive Guild, this collection has been gi\-en to the
Society, and is now a\'ailable for use.
Two \'ery thorough and detailed typewritten histories
by Nicholas Ball have been presented to the Society by
Mrs. Schuyler C. Ball One volume of 354 pages deals
with the history and development of Block Island harbors
from 1635 to 1896. The other volunie of 66 pages is an
account of the Block Island light houses, life saving sta-
tions anci cable.
Mr. Thomas A. Jenckes and Mr. Stephen H. Jenckes
have presented to the Society a collection of legal docu-
ments and printed briefs relating to Rhode Island cases,
from the library of their grandfather, the late Thomas A.
lb RH(JDK ISLAND HTS'lORK AL SOCIETY
The manuscript record book of the Proprietors of Little
Compton, which contains an account of the land grants
from 1673 to 1755 and so is the fundamental source book
for the origin of land titles in Little Compton, has been
photostated and the photostat copy placed in the Society's
library. The Society is indebted to Mr. Henry L Rich-
mond for his generosity and for the hours of time he has
spent in bringing this work to a successful culmination.
On December 10, 1929, Mr. John W. Haley gave a
talk before the Society on Historical Treasures of Rhode
Island y illustrated with lantern slides.
The Political Thought of Roger WilliainSy by James E.
Ernst, is a volume of 230 pages, published in 1929 by the
LIniversity of Washington Press at Seattle. An article on
Roger Williams by Mr. Ernst appeared in the last issue of
the R. I. H. S. Collections.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Charles M. Perry the
Society has obtained a typewritten copy of the manuscript
History of Greene and Vicinity ^ which was recently written
by Squire G. Wood.
The Society has been fortunate in obtaining a copy of
the. Lunar Calendaryhy Moses Lopez, which was published
at Newport in 1806. It is the hrst Jewish almanac pub-
lished in the State. The Society's file of Newport Aiercury
Alnuniacs still lacks a few issues between 1890 and 1911.
Uncle By Gosh of Old South County ^ by Jennie R. Par-
telow, was printed in Boston in 1929, and is the second
book of hers relating to Rhode Island.
C A P T A ] X 1 ' A INK OF C A I A C' I-: T
The box in which the commission for the intjuin' into the
burning of the Gnspee was sent to Go\'ernor Wanton. <
The box is still preserved in the State House at Providence.
Co!/'fe.<y of Ho'TCiii// W. Preston.
Captain Paine of Cajacet
By H(0WARD M. Chapin
Captain Thomas Paine of Cajacet in Jamestown, mar-
iner, buccaneer, soldier, patriot and churchman, is one of
those picturesque swash -luicklmg pru'ateersmen of the
seventeenth century, who ha\ing made his pile, retired
from the dangers ancH excitement of the sea, to spend his
declining years on shore as a landed gentleman and a pil-
lar of the Church of England. Why so many ex-pirates
joined the Church of England has always seemed to be one
of the unsolved mvsteries of those romantic davs.
20 RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Thomas Paine first appears in history in the year of
Grace 1682 as captain of a bark and in command of a crew
of eighty men. He had evidently been a-privateering on
his own account without due papers and commission, but
seems to have confined his activities to preying on Spanish
commerce, or at least had that reputation. Thus it might
be said that he carried on the best traditions of the
At this time the English government was trying to sup-
press buccaneering and the kindred trade of piracy in the
West Indies, and many self-styled privateersmen finding
that His Majesty's men-of-war interf erred with their
activities, became repentant and sought to give up their
questionable calling and to take up the duties and obliga-
tions of respectable citizens. One Captain Clarke, who is
called "a very honest useful man," approached Sir
Thomas Lynch, then Governor of Jamaica, and pleaded
on Paine's behalf. Lynch wrote, "He told me Payn had
never done the least harm to any and that if I would allow
him to come in, he would engage to bring in or destroy
these other pirates. I thought this likely and advantageous
from creating di\'isions aniong the pirates, so I accepted
the offer and hope per fas aut nejas to put down these
destructive rogues." This letter was written on Novem-
ber 9, 1682, and it is interesting to note that in this very
letter, while referring to piracy and privateers, Sir Thomas
mentions "particularly one Picard in a brigantine," whom
we will hear of later.
From the context of Lynch's letter it would appear that
he considered Paine was one of the throng of self-styled
privateersmen who infested the West Lidies and preyed
on the Spaniards. Apparently the statement that "Payn
had never done the least harm to any" should be taken
advisedly, and meant that he had not preyed on English
vessels or by his behavior involved England in interna-
Captain Clarke was successful in his intercession on
CAPTAIN PAIXE OF CAJACKT 21
Paine's behalf and the latter was allowed b\- Governor
L\nch to ''come in" to Jamaica, which was tantamount to
freeing him from possible legal prosecution for past irreg-
ularities at sea.
Captain Paine was dul\' commissioned a privateersman
by Sir Thomas L\nch on October 13, 1682, and was
authorized to seize, kill and destroy pirates and their ships.
Acting under this commission. Captain Paine sailed from
Jamaica in the frigate Pearl, a ship of eight guns manned
with sixty men.
In March, 1683, Captain Paine touched at the Bahama
Islands and fell in with four sea captains of ill-repute:
Captain Conway Wool ley. Captain Markham, John Cor-
nelison, commander of a brigantine from New ^ ork, and
a noted pirate captain known under \arious names as Breha
alias Brashaw alias La\'anza alias Michael Anderson. Cap-
tain Breha was at this time making preparations to sail on
a voyage, which he alleged was for the purpose of fishing
silver from a wrecked Spanish galleon.
Governor Lilburne of the Bahamas said that these cap-
tains entered into a conspiracy to take St. Augustine and
sailed under the command of Captain Paine. Other less
authentic reports state that Breha was in command, but
these reports were doubtless due to the fact that Breha
was more widely known. The five ships sailed under
French colors and hoped to surprise St. Augustine, but to
their discomforture found the Spaniards ready for them.
Abandoning the idea of taking that cit\', they ravaged the
outlying countryside, and plundered a number of small
places. The expedition then broke up, a common occur-
rence among buccaneers, and Paine, Markham and Breha
returned with their spoils to New Prox'idence. (ioxernor
Lilburne immediateh' attempted to seize these ships, but
failed through want of sufficient force.
Captain Paine, not finding New Providence hospitable,
sailed away to a Spanish wreck, perhaps the one Breha had
mentioned, and tried his luck at hshing silver out of the
22 RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
old galleon. Governor Lilburne sent a strong force after
Paine, but when this ship reached the wreck, Paine had
It was rather a convenience for the pirates of those days
to occasionally go a-hunting sunken silver in ship-wrecked
galleons, especially as such quests would account of quan-
tities of plate in their cargo. On the other hand, wrecking
expeditions often were able to do a little unsuspected pir-
acy on the side, so to speak.
Captain Paine in his ship Pearl reached Narragansett
Bay in the summer of 1683 ostensibly from looting a
Spanish wreck. Samuel G. Arnold gives the date of arrival
in a marginal note as July 30, but I have not succeeded in
verifying this date. At any rate, the news of Paine's
arrival had reached Boston by Wednesday, August 15, for
on that date Thatcher, the Deputy Collector, set out for
Newport for the purpose of seizing the Pearly which he
believed was an "unfree bottom." He arrived at Newport
the next day, which he spent in satisfying himself "as to
the character of the ship" as he expressed it. In the eve-
ning he called upon Governor William Coddington and
demanded his assistance in seizing her. Governor Cod-
dington put Thatcher off and agreed to take the matter up
in the morning. Thatcher claimed that some one told the
"pirates" of his plans, and that the delay of overnight gave
Paine and his crew time to arm themselves so as to be able
to resist arrest.
Early the next morning, Friday, August 1 7, Thatcher
went to see Governor Coddington. The latter said that he
had investigated the matter, and that the vessel was a
"free bottom" not liable to seizure, for Captain Paine had
a commission from Sir Thomas Lynch. A conference was
then held, which was attended by Governor Dongan of
New York, Governor Cranfield of New Hampshire, and
Capt. Thomas Paine, as well as by Governor Coddington
and Deputy Collector Thatcher. Captain Paine presented
his commission, which Thatcher, Dongan and Cranfield
CAPTAIN- I'AIXH OF CAJACKT 23
declared to be a forger\". Cranfield claimeci that it was not
Sir Thomas' signature, and the fact that Sir Thomas was
styled one of the gentlemen of the King's Bedchamber
instead of his Privy Chamber, also proved that the com-
mission was forged.
Cranheld, Dongan and Thatcher represented the crown
and, in this case as in others, their wishes seem to hax'e led
them to distort facts. Paine would have had little need to
have forged a commission, when he already had one, as is
proved b\' the letter of Sir Thomas Lynch already quoted.
Governor Coddington, representing the rights of the col-
onists as against the tyranny of the Royal agents, accepted
the commission as genuine, and would not seize the ship.
The next day Thatcher again asked help of Governor Cod-
dington, and the Governor told him to proceed against
Paine in the court if he wished to do so. Thus matters
rested for a while.
Paine settled at Newport, and apparently in the follow-
ing year, 1684, was arrested on the charge of piracy. Wil-
liam Dyer, son of Mary Dyer, the Quaker martvr, and at
this time a ro\al agent with ample powers, wrote on Sep-
tember 12, 1684: "I have also caused Captain Thomas
Paine the arch-pirate, to be secured, and charged the Gov-
ernor of Rhode Island with him and with his own neglect
for not assisting the Deputy Collector to seize him and his
ship." Captain Paine seems to have successfully extricated
himself from these charges for he continued to reside in
Thomas Paine married Mercy Carr, daughter oi Judge
Caleb Carr of Jamestown, but the date of the marriage is
not now known, although it was probably in 1687 8. The
Paines resided in Jamestown, and in 1688 Thomas Paine
was drawn on the Grand Jury and served at the session
held at Newport on December 1 1 of that year.
In Jul\-, 1690, Rhode Island was amph' rewarded for
giving shelter seven years earlier to Captain 1 homas
Paine. A fleet of French privateers arrived off the coast
RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
CAPTAIX PAINE OF CAJACKT 2j
about Ju]\' 12. The ci)mmandcr was a Captain Pckar or
Picard, who is unquestionably identical with the buccaneer
Pierre le Picard, whom Esquemeling mentions as desert-
ing L'Ollonais, and with the Captain Picard, whom Sir
Thomas Lynch described as a pirate in 1682. Newport
and Jamestown were shocked by the news of the atrocities
committed by these French privateers at Block Ishmd and
an attack upon Newport itself was feared. On July 17 the
Ciovernor and Council met, and in the emergency im-
pressed into the colony's service the sloop Loyal Steele of
Barbadoes, which happeneci to be lying in Newport harbor
at this time. This sloop was armed with 10 guns, manned
with 60 men and placed under the command of the vet-
eran sea fighter, Captain Thomas Paine, who was more
experienced in na\'al warfare than any other resident of
Rhode Island. Captain John Godfrey was placeci in com-
mand of another vessel, probably his own, and ordered to
accompany the Loxal Siede and to act under Captain
The achie\'ements of this expedition are best told by an
e\e witness, Samuel Niles.
"Whilst these l-'rench pri\'ateers were making an at-
tempt at New London, the people of Newport htted out
two vessels from thence with volunteers to engage theni,
supposing they were still at Block Island. These vessels
were sloops, under the command of Captain and Comnio-
dore Paine, who had some years before followed the pri\'a-
teering design, and Captain John Godfrey, his second j
and inquiring for the French, they were told, that when
they left the island they shaped their course westward
toward New Londi)n ; upon which our Knglish vessels
stretched off to the stnithward, and soon made a discovery
of a small fleet standing eastward. Supposing them to be
the French they were in quest of, the}' tacked and came m
as near shore as they could with safety, carrxing one
anchor to wear and another to seaboard, to pre\ent the
26 RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
French boarding them on each side at once, and to bring
their guns and men all on one side, the better to defend
themselves and annoy the enemy. The French probably
discovered them also, and made all the sail they could,
expecting to make prizes of them. Accordingly they sent
a periauger before them, full of men, with design to pour
in their small arms on them, and take them, as their man-
ner was, supposing they were unarmed vessels and only
bound upon trade. Captain Paine's gunner urged to hre
on them. The Captain denied, alleging it more advisable
to let the enemy come nearer under their command. But
the gunner still urging it, being certain (as he said) he
should rake fore and aft, thus with much importunity at
length the Captain gave him liberty. He fired on them
but the bullet went wide of them, and I saw it skip on the
surface of the water several times, and finally lodge in a
bank, as they were not very far distant from the shore.
This brought them to a stand and to row off as fast as they
could and wait until their vessels came up. When they
came, they^ bore down on the English, and there ensued a
very hot seahght for several hours, though under the
land, the great barque foremost, pouring in a broadside
with small arms. Ours bravely answered them in the same
manner, with their huzzas and shouting. Then followed
the larger sloop, the captain whereof was a very violent,
resolute fellow. He took a glass of wine to drink, and
wished it might be his damnation if he did not board them
immediately. But as he was drinking, a bullet struck him
in his neck, with which he instantly fell down dead as the
prisoners (before spoken of), afterward reported. How-
ever, the large sloop proceeded, as the former vessel had
done, and the lesser sloop likewise. Thus they passed by
in course, and then tacked and brought their other broad-
side to bear. In this manner they continued the fight until
the night came on and prevented their farther conflict.
Our men as valiantly paid them back in their own coin, and
bravely repulsed them, and killed several of them. The
CAPTAIN I'AINE OF CAJACET 27
Captain, before spoken of, with one or more were after-
wards driven on the shore. In this action the continued fire
was so sharp and violent, that the echo in the woods made
a noise as though the limbs of the trees were rent and tore
off from their bodies (as I have observed) ; yet they killed
but one man, an Indian fellow of the English party, and
wounded six men, who after recovered. They overshot
our men, so that many of their bullets, both great and
small, were picked up on the adjacent shore.
"Our men expected a second encounter in the morning,
and their ammunition being much spent, sent in the night
for the island's stock, as the French lay off at anchor but a
small distance from them all night. But having found the
engagement too hot for them, they hoisted their sails and
stood off to sea; and one reason might be this (as was
reported) that their Commodore understood by some
means that it was Captain Paine he had encountered, said,
'He would as soon choose to fight the devil as with him.'
Such was their dialect. Now this Captain Paine, and
Peckar, the French Commodore, had sailed together
a-privateering, Paine captain, and Peckar his lieutenant, in
some former wars. The French standing off to sea. Cap-
tain Paine and Captain Godfrey, and their soldiers,
with the valor and spirit of true Englishmen, pursued
them, but the privateers being choice sailors, were too light
of foot for them. The French, finding that they hauled
on the vessel before spoken of, loaded with wines and
brandy, which was not so good a sailor as the others, and
fearing the English would make a prey of her, fired a
great shot through her bottom, so that when our men came
to her she was sunk under water in her fore part, the stern
alone buoyed up by a long-boat fastened to it; and as she
was standing right up anci down in the water, they could
not get anything out of her. They no sooner cut the
painter, but she instantly sunk to the bottom. They
brought the boat with them in their return, which was the
only prize and troph\- of their \-ictor\'; onl\- as the enem\'
RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PS ^ \ " " (^ ^ ^^ 2 â– : r>
\ ^ . .
C\\^ s^C^ ^A'^ ;; v/^ <f ;^i ^ -%^ â–
â– 5 ^
CAPTAIN PAINE OF CAjACET 29
were vanquished, and that they had so courageously chased
them off the New England coast. When Peckar heard
that Trimming was kiJJed, he greatly lamented, and said,
he had rather have lost thirty of his men."
Captain Paine was accompanied on this expedition by
his father-in-law, Caleb Carr, and by his wife's brothers,
Nicholas Carr and Samuel Carr.
On September 16, 1690, Captain Thomas Paine and
his father-in-law, Caleb Carr, were appointed tax asses-
sors for Janiestown, and were at this time residents of
Jamestown. Two years later, in 1692, the town of James-
town neglected to choose its militia officers, and the Gen-
eral Assembly on August 2 appointed Thomas Paine cap-
tain of the Jamestown Militia.
Captain Paine's father-in-law, Caleb Carr, was elected
Governor of the Colony, and took up the duties of his
office in May, 1695. Thomas Paine is supposed to have
built the house, which is still standing though considerably
remodeled, on the estate called Cajacet on the east shore
of Conanicut Island near its northerly end. The Paines
resided in this house for many years.
On May 3, 1698, Captain Paine was admitted a free-
man, that is, an enfranchised voter of the colony. It is
extraordinary that Paine should have served on the jury
and been captain of the militia several years before he was
a citizen of the colony.
On Thursday, June 15, 1699, the famous pirate, Capt.
William Kidd, returning from his ill-fated cruise, dropped
anchor in Rhode Island harbor, as Narragansett Bay was
then called. The Collector, in a boat with thirty well-
armed men, went out from Newport to seize Captain
Kidd's vessel, but Kidd hred two great shots and the Col-
Kidd then sailed up the bay as far as Captain Paine's
^Stc R. I. H. S. C. XV, 97.
30 RHODI-: ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY
house and anchored ofF Conanicut. He sent his boat ashore
with an invitation to Captain Paine to come and see him.
Paine accepted Kidd's invitation and went aboard the