Stephen Goddard, 1764–1804




Newport, Rhode Island

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Stephen Goddard was born in Newport in 1764 to cabinetmaker John Goddard (1723/24– 1785) and Hannah (Townsend) Goddard (1728–1804). His paternal grandparents were shipwright Daniel Goddard (1697–1764) and Mary (Tripp) Goddard (born 1700). His maternal grandparents were shop joiner Job Townsend (1699–1765) and Rebecca (Casey) Townsend.(1)

When his father John died in 1785, his will instructed Stephen and his younger brother Thomas Goddard to complete any outstanding commissions in his shop.(2)

From a family with deep roots in the Society of Friends, or Quakers, Goddard ran afoul of his church in 1787 when he was disowned for marrying a non-Quaker.(3) This refers to his November, 1787 marriage to Mary Weaver at Newport.(4) Stephen and Thomas were active in partnership until Stephen's 1804 death in Newport. Upon his death, it was written in The Newport Mercury of June 16, 1804 that, in him his wife has lost an affectionate husband, his children a kind and tender parent, and society at large a worthy and useful member.-Few men were more generally or more deservedly respected while living, few whose death will be more universally regretted.-The long and lingering illness which brought him to the grave, was borne by him with a fortitude and patience, of which there have been very few examples.

Benjamin W. Colman and Patricia E. Kane

1. Ethel Hall Bjerkoe, The Cabinetmakers of America (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1957), pp. 113, 214.

2. Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, New Jersey: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 199–200.

3. Monthly Meeting April 24, 1787, Society of Friends, Newport, Rhode Island, Monthly Meetings 1773-1790, p. 96, microfilm no. 0022418, Family History Library, Salt Lake City..

4. Vital Record of Rhode, Island, 1636-1850,