Bartlett, Irving H. (1954) From Slave to Citizen: The Story of the Negro in Rhode Island. Providence: The Urban League of Greater Providence.
pp. 15-16: no specific reference.
6/13/1727: an Indian named Peter, property of Jacob Mott of Portsmouth, fired a bullet through his master’s hat. Count found no motive to kill but “only an intent of mischief” & turned case over to General Assembly, which ordered he “be branded in the forehead with the letter R with a hot iron, and be publickly whipped at a cart’s tail throughout all the most public corners and places of the town of Newport.”
n.d.: in Kingston, a slave killed his master’s wife. He escaped & committed suicide. The Assembly ordered “that his head, legs, and arms be cut from his body, and hung up in some public place, near the town, to public view, and his body to be burnt to ashes, that it may, if it please God, be something of a terror to others from perpetration of the like barbarity for the future.”
Was Rhode Island less homicidal than the rest of NEng before King Philip's War? It seems not: a fair number of homicides for a small population, Ind-Ind, Ind-English, Eng-Eng. Possible that there was an ironic solidarity in toleration & a sense of persecution by the other colonies (later, the United Colonies) -- and a strong sense of mutual dependence b/w the Narragansetts and the English colonists, brokered by Roger Williams. From 1670-5, when the records are solid, their are two Eng-Eng homs, two Ind-Ind homs (3 victims), a rape murder of an English woman by an Indian man, and the chiarivari execution of Thomas Cornell for the alleged murder of his mother (which was more probably an accidental death in a fire). None of this speaks to a strong sense of social solidarity among anyone, and a high rate of homicide, even though the records show little evidence of homicide, 1637-1669.
Rhode Island raises important theoretical issues concerning toleration. It appears that there was no greater sense of solidarity among the inhabitants of Rhode Island that in the other colonies.
Bartlett, John R., ed. (1856) Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and providence Plantations in New England, 10 v. New York: AMS Press, 1968.
Have not yet read Bartlett.
Daniel Allen Hearn, Legal Executions in New England: A Comprehensive Reference, 1623-1960 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1999), .
Simon Bradstreet, "Simon Bradstreet's Journal, 1664-1683." New England Historical and Genealogical Register IX (1855), 4
Austin, John Osborne (1969) Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. Familiar with the court case files through about 1750!
Rhode Island Court Records: Records of the Court of Trials of the Colony of Providence Plantations, 1647-1662, v. 1 (Providence, 1920).
Rhode Island Court Records: Records of the Court of Trials of the Colony of Providence Plantations, 1662-1670, v. 2 (Providence, 1922).
Chapin, Howard M. (1916) Documentary History of Rhode Island: Being the History of the Towns of Providence and Warwick to 1649 and of the Colony to 1647. Providence: Preston and Rounds. v. 1.
Chapin, Howard M. (1919) Documentary History of Rhode Island: Being the History of the Towns of Portsmouth and newport to 1647 and the Court Records of Aquidneck. Providence: Preston and Rounds. v. 2.
Fiske, Jane Fletcher (1998) Rhode Island General Court of Trials, 1671-1704. Boxford, Mass.
includes: Records of the Gen. Court of Trials at Newport, 5/1671t - 3/1685t, 9/1693t - 9/1704t.
includes: Records of the Court of Trials of the Town of Warwick, 1659-1674
1640-1646: Circuit Quarterly Courts established in Rhode Island. Its records scattered in the mss. volume, "Rhode Island Colony Records, 1646-1669," at the Rhode Island Archives. The records for 1641-1646 were abstracted in Howard M. Chapin, Documentary History of Rhode Island (Providence, 1920), v. 2.
1647- : the Gen. Ct. of Trials was established in 1647. Most of the records of the court from 1647 to 1670 are in the mss. volume, "Rhode Island Colony Records, 1646-1669," at the Rhode Island Archives. A transcription was published in two books: Rhode Island Court Records: Records of the Court of Trials of the Colony of Providence Plantation (Providence, 1920, 1922), v. 1 (1647-1662), v. 2 (1663-1670).
1671-1721: the records of the Gen. Ct. of Trials preserved in Newport Court Book A, which has been kept with the later Newport County Court Books (which begin with B). Book A covers the entire colony to 1721, when the counties were established and with them the county courts. The volume is now located at the Rhode Island Judicial Archives at One Hill Street, Pawtucket. Most case files for the period covered in Book A have been lost.
Jane Fletcher Fiske, Gleanings from Newport Court Files, 1659-1783 (Boxford, Mass., 1998).State Library (GEN) F89 N5 F57