John Harvey, worked 1744




Newport, Rhode Island


All that is currently known about John Harvey is that he was working as a Newport upholsterer in 1744. He is referred to as an “upholder” in a suit brought against him by Elisha Johnson, a Newport mariner, for money due by note. Johnson was awarded 11 plus court costs.(1) No other evidence of Harvey’s presence in Newport has yet been discovered.

According to census data, there was a John Harvey living in Charlestown, Rhode Island, in 1774.(2) There was also a John Harvey from Charlestown who died in 1747.(3) When Harvey’s son William was named the administrator of his father’s estate, one of his bondsmen was Peter Hall. It is interesting to note that Peter Hall was the name of an upholsterer known to have been working in Newport in 1736.(4) There is no evidence, however, that either of the men mentioned in the 1747 probate document were the same John Harvey and Peter Hall who worked as Newport upholsterers.


1. Elisha Johnson, Newport, mariner v. John Harvey, Newport, upholder, May 1744 term, Newport County Court of Common Pleas, vol. B, p. 556, Rhode Island Judicial Record Center, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

2. John R. Bartlett, Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Taken by Order of the General Assembly, in the Year 1774 (Providence: Knowles, Anthony & Co., 1858), 151.

3. Inventory of John Harvey, April 6, 1747, Charlestown Town Council and Probate, 1738–1759, vol. 1, p. 136.

4. Benjamin Boylston, Mendon, Worchester County, Massachusetts v. Peter Hall, Newport, upholsterer, Newport, November 1736 term, Newport County Court of Common Pleas, vol. A, p. 420, Rhode Island Judicial Record Center.