Monday, June 20, 2016

Rhode Island Historical Cemetery, Cumberland 3 (June 20, 2016) -- Part III

The date of the above plat, which shows the location of the Cumberland Cemetery, is unknown but probably dates from the late 1890s. It differs from the plat shown in Part I of this series in that the land on the periphery of the cemetery boundary is now subdivided into 18 lots. Note the description along the right border of the cemetery plat that states, "Perpetual Burying Ground." 

The handwritten words in blue ink are interesting to me because it looks like the "peacock blue" ink that was used almost exclusively by my grandmother, Ruth E. [Cooke] Carpenter, in the fountain pens she always favored. I believe -- without any other evidence -- that the peacock blue notations were probably written by my great grandfather, Samuel Eber Carpenter, Ruth's father-in-law. The printed word in peacock blue identifies the street at the bottom of the cemetery as "Dexter" Street.  The cursive writing in peacock blue in the bottom right lot bordering the cemetery [the lot numbered 67] states "Leighton."

Because the Cumberland Cemetery was incorporated by act of the Rhode Island General Assembly in June 1870, it is surmised that the plat in Part I dates from 1870 or earlier and shows the parcels that were owned by James Dexter, Jeremiah Whipple, Timothy Dexter, and Elisha Waterman before being conveyed and eventually amalgamated into the Cumberland Cemetery. The date of the plat shown above is after the properties bounding what became Cumberland Cemetery were subdivided into 18 lots and were numbered (clockwise from the bottom left of the cemetery plat) as Lots 80, 79, 78, 77, 76, 137, 75, 74, 131, 73, 72, 71, 70, 63, 64, 65, 66, and the Leighton lot 67.

As the plat shown in Part I indicates, the location of Cumberland Cemetery was apparently used as a burial ground before the 1870 incorporation as Cumberland Cemetery. In the center of the plat depicted in Part I is the legend "Bounding on Old Burial Ground." For convenience, that plat is reproduced immediately below.

In 1868 -- three years after the end of the Civil War and two years before the incorporation of the Cumberland Cemetery -- 52 people subscribed to a drive to raise money for the building of a fence at what was apparently even then being called Cumberland Cemetery. A list of the 1868 subscribers is among the papers I have inherited from my grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, who lived his entire life at what was then 551 High Street in Cumberland. Below is a scan of the original list in my possession along with my transcription of the contents of the list.

What will not be readily apparent from the scanned images of the subscriber list to follow is that what appears to be the listing of the 1868 subscribers and their information is in ink, whereas other information is in lead pencil. I believe that the information in pencil was added sometime after 1885 when previous subscribers were contacted for new subscriptions. The original subscription drive amounts are noted in ink after each name on the list. I base my assumption and belief that the penciled information was added to the list after 1885 on the ink entries after the names Baylies Bourne and Daniel Miller that indicate in the "Called" column inked dates in the year 1885. It appears from this document that the funding for the erection (and/or continued maintenance) of a fence around the Cumberland Cemetery occurred over many years and subscription was entirely voluntary. To distinguish between the inked and penciled entries in my transcription, the entries that are in pencil are in non-bold, italicized type.

The heading and the content of the list reads . . . 

Names of Subscribers towards
building fence in 1868.

Name                            Residence                    Called           Result

June Whipple      $25.              Emulien Whipple
                                                   Central Falls
J.C. Dexter             20.              Cumberland                                                         Subscribed
A. Kinsman            10.                         Do [1]                                                                    Do
Ezra Kent               10.                         Do                                                               Deceased
John J. Carpenter    5.               Lonsdale                                                                        "
Baylies Bourne       10.                       Do                            June 15, 1885   Subscribed  3.--
Eber Miller [2]           5.               Cumberland                                                        Deceased
John Thurber[?]      5.               Attleboro
Simon Whipple        5.               Central Falls
Daniel Miller            5.               Valley Falls                               11, /'85      Will not subscribe
Sarah Angell          25.                Lonsdale                                                             Deceased
Mary Taft               10.                 See James Taft
S. Metcalf                  1.                 At Fenton  "
Julia Roger                1.                 Try Stafford Roger                                             Deceased
John Dexter               5.               Valley Falls                                                         Deceased
Frederick Pearce     25.               New York                                                   Subscribed 100.--
Thos. A. Jenckes      25.               Cumberland                                                       Deceased
Mrs. Geo. Kilburn   10.               Lonsdale                                                     Subscribed 10.--
Martha Whipple        2.               Central Falls (at S.W.) Ashland
Maria Allen                2.               Sam Allen, Scituate                                             Deceased
George Earle            10.                                                                                                     "  
Mrs. Mumford         15.
Emily Waterman     10.               Providence
Betsey Waterman     10.                         Do
Rufus Waterman      10.                         Do
Mrs. Keene                 4.
Silena Pike                  5.                                                                                          Deceased
Henry Goodwin         5.                Central Falls
Matilda Haskell         5.                See Mrs. Tayler                                                 Deceased
Barton Chase             5.                                                                                                     "
Eliza Hardy                5.                Woonsocket (Ed Miller)
Caroline Miller          5.                                                                                          Deceased
Lucretia Pearce        10.                                                                                                    "
Pardon Newell          10.                                                                                                    "
Sarah Clark                5.                                                                                                    "
James Miller               5.                See Sarah Miller                                                         "
Abby Kinsley              2.                  "   Joseph Fiske                                              D        "
Caroline Lee               5.                 Cumberland
Wm. Dexter                5.                          Do
John S. Dexter            5.                 Providence
Saml. Dexter               5.                          Do
George Carpenter      5.                 Cumberland
Ann Welden              10.--                 ----------                                                        Deceased
J.W. Miller                   2.                   ----------                                                                   "
Squire French           10.                 Pawt.                                                                          "
Mary Sibley                5.                                                                                                     "
Edwin King                5.                  East Prov.
Daniel Wilkinson       5.                     ----------                                                        Deceased
Nehemiah Lee            5.                  Cumberland
Lewis Carpenter        2.                  Attleboro
Squire Fisk                 2.                  See Abby wife of Geo. A. Sweet                       Deceased
Wm. Carpenter          2.                  Attleboro

Also among the Cumberland Cemetery papers I inherited is a two-sided document authored by my great grandfather, S.E. (Samuel Eber) Carpenter. The document is undated, but shows income via subscriptions and from Cumberland Cemetery funds.  On the reverse side of the document, sums paid out on behalf of the Cemetery for various services are also listed. 

My guess is that this document, titled "Committee in Account Cumberland Cemetery," was created  after 1885 and most likely around the turn of the last century. I base this guess on the fact that Samuel Eber Carpenter (my great grandfather) lived from 1853 to 1929. He was for a long time employed as a cashier with North American National Bank in Providence. In 1885 he would have been 32 years old and not yet married.  By 1891 has was married and the father of two children: one age 2 and the other a newborn. I think it unlikely he would have taken on an active position with the Cumberland Cemetery during this time of his life. His mother and father were both still alive and he and his family were residing in their home at 551 High Street.

More persuasive for possibly dating the accounting document are the notes from the Cumberland Cemetery trustees (see Part II) that indicate the trustees were engaged from 1890 through 1895 with trying to obtain a survey and plat of the cemetery property as well as the repair of the cemetery fence. It was not until 1901 that the funds of the Cumberland Cemetery Corporation were placed in the hands of the trustees and thus corporation funds could be used by direction of the trustees alone. As the accounting document shows, $150 of corporation funds were contributed for what appears to be the construction and maintenance of a building on the cemetery grounds -- and this is probably the 12' X 16' building that was sold on February 19, 1946 per Bill of Sale signed by the Cemetery trustees: N.D. Brown, Pres.; my grandfather E.S. Carpenter, Sec.Treas.; and John S. Angell (my grandfather's 1st cousin). The building was sold for $60.00 and was probably not in very good shape at the time given the plans, freight, and construction alone of the building cost about $276 according to the accounting document below. I surmise the building was constructed after the surveying and fencing of the cemetery in the 1890s and after the trustees were given control of the corporation funds -- meaning sometime in the early part of the first decade of the last century. When the building was sold in 1946 it would have then been about 40+ years old.

S.E. Carpenter [3]  Committee in Account
Cumberland Cemetery

     Received by Subscription

                                           A. F. Pearse                                               100. ----
                                           A. Kinsman                                                   5.
                                           G.A. Kent                                                      5.
                                           B. Bourne                                                      3.
                                           S.E. Carpenter                                              5.
                                           Jas. C. Dexter                                                5.
                                           Mrs. M.E. Kilburn                                      10.
                                           Benj. Chapman                                             1.
                                           Curtis Dexter                                                1.
     From Cemetery Funds  J.C. Dexter Treas.                                  150.
                                         Balance Due                                                  25.39

     Paid                      Gerald Angell for Plan & Squarefoots [?]         5. ----
                                   P.&W.R.R. Co. "      Freight                                  .75
                                   W.F. Wright      "      Building                          270. ----
                                   S.E. Carpenter Agt. " Insurance                         5. ----
                                   S.A.W. Arnold  "    Labor (Painting)                11.75
                                   H. Howard     "   Blinds & Green Paint             8.64
                                   S.A.W. Arnold  "   Labor (Painting 2 coat)       6.25
                                   J.A. Angell     "  Hanging & Painting Blinds     3. ----

The Bill of Sale dated February 19, 1946 for a building on Cumberland Cemetery property 

*     *     *     *

Part IV of this series will discuss miscellaneous documents and events related to Cumberland Cemetery from 1939 through the early 1940s during the period immediately after my maternal grandfather, Everett S. Carpenter, was elected to be Secretary/Treasurer of Cumberland Cemetery. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

All images are scanned from original documents in the collection of the author.

[1]  "Do" is an accounting and listing abbreviation for "ditto" and means that the previous item or entry is repeated where the mark appears. What looks like a double quotation mark ( " ) is also used as a ditto marker and is the more common and modern mark for a repeated item.

[2]  Eber Miller is my 3X great grandfather.  He was born April 24, 1805 and died March 21, 1877, so he was a subscriber (for $5.00) to the original 1868 drive for building a fence, but by the recall in 1885 he had been dead for about eight years.

[3]  Samuel Eber (S.E.) Carpenter is my great grandfather and he was the grandson of Eber Miller. Samuel was born on September 25, 1853 and died on January 18, 1929 at age 75. He lived his entire life at 551 High Street in Cumberland. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copyright 2016, John D. Tew

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  

1 comment:

  1. Hi John. What's interesting, now that you have placed so many of these documents here, is that my relatives were buried there around 1845; Hezekiah and Philadelphia (Arnold) Collar.

    I have one or two pictures in the blog post:

    I notice that the R.I. Cemetery Commission site:

    gives such a garbled account of CU003 & CU004 - it's pretty clear that the history of this location as a cemetery goes way, way back and that really, no one knows the full story. Fascinating. Thanks for all you've done so far. Keep going!