Job Gibbs, 1762–1841


cabinetmaker; housewright


Newport, Rhode Island


Job Gibbs was born in 1762 or 1763, probably in Newport, Rhode Island, to Elisha Gibbs, Jr., (1711 or 1712–1790) and Lydia (Peckham) Gibbs. Though he was primarily occupied as a carpenter or house carpenter, he worked intermittently making or repairing furniture.

As early as 1785, soon after he would have completed his apprenticeship, he appears in the records of Newport doctor Isaac Senter after making or repairing a variety of furniture forms. Gibbs appears in these accounts through 1795.(1) In 1796, following the death of his mother, Job, his sister Rebecca, and several of his brothers-in-law granted power of attorney for the estates of their parents to Jonathan Gibbs of Portsmouth. He was called a housewright in these documents.(2)

In April 1797, Gibbs was once again referred to as a house carpenter when he announced his financial insolvency in a Newport newspaper.(3) His troubles presumably continued, as in 1803 he announced that,"ALL persons are hereby forbid trusting my wife Lydia, on my debt, as I am determined to pay no debts of her contracting after this date.(4).

In 1820, Gibbs was called a housewright when he sold land to Newport merchant Thomas Denis.(5) In 1836, he lived in a house on Second Street in Newport that was advertised for sale by Nicholas Boss.(6)

He died in Newport in April, 1841, at the age of 78.(7)

Benjamin W. Colman and Patricia E. Kane

1. Joseph K. Ott, "Recent Discoveries Among Rhode Island Cabinetmakers and Their Work," Rhode Island History 28:1 (Winter 1969); 20.

2. Lydia Gibbs, power of attorney, Elisha Gibbs estate, May 4, 1796, Newport Deeds, vol. 6, p. 328. Newport City Hall, R.I.

3. The Newport Mercury, "The Creditors of Job Gibbs," April 11, 1797,

4. Rhode-Island Republican, "Notice," June 4, 1803,

5. Hunlic Huddy et al. to Thomas Denis, deed, March 20, 1820, Newport Deeds, vol. 14, p. 500, Newport City Hall, R.I.

6. Rhode Island Republican, "For Sale," May 25, 1836.

7. Rhode Island Republican, "Died," April 7, 1841.