Thursday, April 18, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday (April 19, 2013) -- Mason Freeman's May 1, 1864 U.S. Internal Revenue License

Tax Day is a thing of the past -- at least for another year -- so it will perhaps now cause less anxiety and pain to post a United States Internal Revenue License from May 1, 1864 than it would have just a week ago.

License No. 3162 shown above is the one issued to Mason Freeman of the Town of Smithfield, Rhode Island.  It was in force from May 1, 1864 until its expiration on May 1st, 1865 -- essentially encompassing the last year of the Civil War.  Mason was the proprietor of a general store in Albion, Rhode Island.  This license was issued, as stated, for Mason Freeman to "carry on the business or occupation of a Retail Dealer at Albion . . . he having paid the tax of Ten Dollars therefor, conformably to the provisions of an Act entitled 'An Act to provide Internal Revenue to support the Government, and to pay interest on the public debt,' approved July 1, 1862, and the amendments and supplements thereto."

Mason Freeman (1820 - 1898)

According to the obituary for Mason in the April 11, 1898 Pawtucket Times:

Mr. Freeman was one of the best known residents of the Blackstone Valley. * * * Mr. Freeman, while a resident of Lincoln, did not take any very prominent part in the public affairs, but his reputation among his fellow was such as to make many of those who were active in politics seek him for advice when questions affecting the interests and welfare of the people were being considered.

Mason is my 2x great grandfather and the father of Sarah Etta (Freeman) Carpenter, my great grandmother.  He was born on June 14, 1820 in Massachusetts and he died at home (193 High Street, Lonsdale, Rhode Island) on April 10, 1898.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

Photographs from original documents in the collection of the author.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 


  1. Wow! A document from the 1860's! This truly is a treasure. And so is the photo of your 2nd great-grandfather. It's such a thrill and a privilege to be able to see the faces of our ancestors isn't it?

  2. I'm so envious of your photo - as Jana says, it's truly a privilege to 'see' our ancestors! Thanks for sharing the Licence document and explanations, John. Always enjoy your blog posts.

  3. I agree - wow! How great to have the photo and the license. Lucky you!

    I am related to another Mason Freeman, who was born in 1811 in Norton, MA and lived his life there. These 2 Mason Freemans appear to descend thru 2 different immigrants, if the information on your Mason is correct on online trees. I was hoping they would connect up somewhere.

    By the way, I photographed your Mason Freeman tombstone a few years ago and put it on He is buried in Moshassuck Cemetery if you didn't have that information already.

  4. You probably know this, but Mason Freeman was the postmaster in Albion from 1860 to 1892. It was reportedly a fifth-class post office that he ran from his general store. As I am currently researching a project on Albion, I would be interested to know if you have any other historical material of that era that speaks about Albion or its inhabitants. As I intend to publish my research, I would like to ask your permission to use the materials about Mason Freeman that you have included here, with proper acknowledgement of course.