Peter Grinnell, 1764–1836


Providence, Rhode Island


Peter Grinnell was born in Little Compton, Rhode Island in 1764. His parents were Aaron Grinnell (born 1728) and Margaret (Taylor) Grinnell (born 1727).(1) His paternal grandparents were George Grinnell (died 1768) and Mercy (Sanford) Grinnell (born 1704) of Little Compton.(2)

He was active in a partnership with his cousin William Taylor

by 1789 in an ornamental painting and frame making business. Peter and William dissolved their partnership in 1809 when Peter entered into the partnership of Peter Grinnell and Son with his son William Taylor Grinnell (1788-1835).

Both Peter and his son developed diversified business interests, eventually shifting their business away from looking glasses to stoves and other manufactured goods. The partnership survived until 1828 when it became Peter Grinnell and Sons, incorporating new partners George Grinnell and William Taylor Grinnell, Jr. (3)

Peter died in September, 1836.

Benjamin W. Colman

1. Betty Ring, "Peter Grinnell and Son: Merchant-Craftsman of Providence, Rhode Island," Antiques 117, no. 1 (January 1980): 212.

2. Little Compton, Rhode Island, Wills,

3. Ring, "Peter Grinnell and Son," 212-217.