I was looking through this blog this morning and realized that the history of the house needed updating. Lucky for me, I don’t have to go far to find that information since my husband has a website Old Warren Houses that includes his ongoing document research on the houses within Warren’s historic district.
Here’s the early history of our house, including purchase and sale, based on the Warren Book of Deeds, Vital Records and the Census.
Caleb Carr estate sold a parcel containing this lot to Josias Lyndon on December 10, 1768. Lyndon broke that parcel into lots and sold lot 11 to Rufus Barton ($21 milled Spanish). September 10, 1782.
It was at this point the house was built as the home of Rufus Barton and Prudence Cole. She was the daughter of Ebenezer Cole who was a very prominent and wealthy citizen of the town. The 1774 Census tells us that Ebenezer owned a woman who was at least sixteen years of age. This unnamed enslaved woman might well have labored in this house.
By 1790, Rufus and Prudence were living here with six other white people, most likely their children. Rufus Barton sold to N.M.Burr for $775 on January 28, 1797 and the family moved to Rensselaer, New York.
Nathan Miller Burr sold to William Eastabrooks for $1300 on October 7, 1799. Captain Eastabrook/Easterbrook had just returned from an illegal* slave voyage on the “Betsey” to Africa that resulted in the enslavement of 79 Africans who were sold into slavery in Havana. I have no doubt he used the profits from that heinous crime to purchase his home. He would go on to captain at least two more illegal* voyages: the “Racoon” from Boston in 1800 and the “Little Ann” from Bristol in 1806. and the “Hannah” from Bristol in 1807. These three voyages accounted for the death or enslavement of 229 persons. In 1817, the Captain died.
Two years later, on January 22, 1819, Seth Peck, administrator of the Eastabrooks estate, sold to William Carr and Joseph Smith for $365. On July 1, 1824, they sold to Abraham Greene for $400. On October 7, 1828, he sold to Barnard Smith for $1000 and then just months later — January 13, 1829 — Barnard and Margaret sold to Turner Carr, shipwright, for $850.
*The RI General Assembly outlawed the involvement of any Rhode Island resident in the transatlantic slave trade; the law was ignored and enforcement was rare.