Gershom Carpenter, 1727–1793


shop joiner; cabinetmaker


Providence, Rhode Island

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Gershom Carpenter was born in 1727 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, and baptized the same year in Rumford, Rhode Island.(1) His parents were Stephen Carpenter (1696-1778) and Martha (Hunt) Carpenter (1702 or 1703-1741). His paternal grandparents were James Carpenter (1668-1738) and Grace (Palmer) Carpenter of Rehoboth.(2)

In February, 1756, Carpenter was among the six Providence cabinetmakers to sign a price-fixing agreement.(3) In 1770, he was identified as a shop joiner when he successfully sued South Kingston mariner George Hazard to recover a five pound debt.(4) In 1773 he was successfully sued by mason William Wheaton.(5)

Gershom died in September, 1793. It was recoded in The Providence Gazette and Country Journal that, "Mr. GERSHOM CARPENTER, of this Town, an honest Man, a worthy Citizen, a tender Husband, and a kind Parent" had died.(6)

After Gershom's death, his son Joseph Carpenter and his widow Hannah (Cooke) Carpenter became administers of his estate.(7)

His widow Hannah (Cooke) Carpenter died in Johnston in 1809 at the age of 79. She was the sister of Nicholas Cooke, the first governor of Rhode Island following the Revolution.(8)


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

2. William Richard Cutter, ed, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, vol. 3, Third ed. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915), 1309.

3. Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Providence Cabinetmakers of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries," Antiques 87:5 (May 1965); 573.

4. Gershom Carpenter v. George Hazard, June, 1770. Providence County Court of Common Pleas, vol. 6, 161. Rhode Island Judicial Record Center, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

5. William Wheaton v. Gershom Carpenter, December, 1773. Providence County Court of Common Pleas, vol. 6, 549.

6. The Providence Gazette and Country Journal, "Died," September 7, 1793.

7. Gershom Carpenter, estate. October 14, 1783. Providence Probate, Book of Wills, vol. 7, 380-386. City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island.

8. The Providence Gazette, "Died," September 9, 1809.