David Dexter, 1722–1788


house carpenter; house joiner, housewright


Cumberland, Rhode Island


David Dexter, who worked as a house carpenter and housewright in Cumberland, Rhode Island, between 1748 and 1788, was probably the David Dexter born to James and Hannah Dexter in Smithfield, Rhode Island. (1) When he purchased land in Cumberland in 1738 he was identified in the deed as a house joiner.(2) In other deeds he was identified as a yeoman.(3) He may have been related to John Dexter, a Cumberland housewright, for whom he witnessed a deed in 1750.(4) In other land transactions he was identified as either a house carpenter or housewright.(5) He was identified as a house carpenter when he sued the blacksmith John Bushee, in the Providence County Inferior Court of Common Pleas in 1760.(6) Dexter died in Cumberland on October 11, 1788 and his will and inventory were presented to the probate court by his widow Mary. The inventory had an extensive list of wood working tools including turning tools.(7)

Patricia E. Kane

Rhode Island Vital Abstracts, vol. 3, p. 97.

Benjamin Peck, Cumberland, yeoman, grantor, to David Dexter, Cumberland, house joiner, grantee, October 10, 1748, Cumberland Deeds, vol. 1, p. 198, Cumberland Town Hall, R.I.

David Dexter, Cumberland, yeoman, grantor, to Jeremiah Whipple, Cumberland, yeoman, April 24, 1750, Cumberland Deeds vol. 1, pp. 372-373; and Whipple to Dexter, April 24, 1750, Cumberland Deeds vol. 1, pp. 439-441; David Dexter, Cumberland, yeoman, 1779, and wife Mary, Cumberland Deeds vol. 6, p. 76; all Cumberland Town Hall, R.I

Jeremiah Whipple, Cumberland, yeoman, grantor, to John Dexter, Cumberland housewright, grantee, April 24, 1750, witnessed by David Dexter and James Dexter, Cumberland Deeds vol. 4, pp. 239-241, Cumberland Town Hall, R.I.

David Dexter, Cumberland, housewright, grantor, to Benjamin Tower, Cumberland, gent., grantee, February 6, 1760, Cumberland Deeds, vol. 3, p. 386; David Dexter, Cumberland, housewright, grantor, to Edward Clarke, Cumberland, Chaisemaker, grantee, December 9, 1773, also signed by Mary Dexter, Cumberland Deeds vol. 5, pp. 266-267; both Cumberland Town Hall, R.I.

David Dexter, Cumberland, house carpenter, Plt., v, John Bushee, Bristol, yeoman alias blacksmith, 1779, Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Providence County, Record Book, vol 3, p. 308, Judicial Archives, Supreme Court Judicial Records Center, Pawtucket, R.I.

Mary Dexter, Cumberland, widow, presents last will of husband David Dexter, late Cumberland, housewright, Cumberland Probate, vol. 6, pp. 130-132; administration granted to Mary Dexter, Cumberland Probate, vol. 6, pp. 127-130; Inventory of David Dexter taken November 27 and December 6, 1788, Cumberland Probate vol. 6, pp. 133-136; all Cumberland Town Hall, R.I.