Thomas White, 1696–1788


Newport, Rhode Island, North Carolina, North Carolina


Thomas White was born in 1696 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia to a Quaker family, later removing to Perquimans County in North Carolina, and finally Northampton County, North Carolina.

Historians conclude from strong stylistic clues that White apprenticed in Newport, possibly in the shop of one of Newport's many Quaker cabinetmaking families.

When White died in 1788 in Northampton County, North Carolina, his inventory included a workbench, glue pot, lathe, and joiner's patterns.(1)

Though there are clues suggesting his presence in Rhode Island, no conclusive evidence placing him there has been uncovered in Colony or town records.

Benjamin W. Colman

1. John Bivins, "Rhode Island Influence on the Work of Two North Carolina Cabinetmakers," American Furniture (1999): 81-88.