Jonathan Wallen, American, 1749/50–1819


cabinetmaker; chairmaker; fife maker


Providence, Rhode Island, Newport, Rhode Island


Providence cabinetmaker Jonathan Wallen was born in 1749 or 1750, though the identity of his parents remains to be discovered.

He would have completed his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker before September, 1776, when he published an advertisement in The Newport Mercury seeking information leading to the capture of 20 year old William Borden, who had, "DESERTED from Jonathan Wallen's company, in Col. Richmond's regiment."(1)

In May, 1792, Wallen published an advertisement in The United States Chronicle of Providence that he, WANTED, as an APPRENTICE to the Cabinet and Chair-Making Business, A LAD, 14 or 15 Years of Age.-For Terms, apply to JONATHAN WALLEN, West SIDE of the Bridge, Providence. April 22, 1792.


who can be well recommended.-Apply to said Wallen.(2)

That same year, Wallen dissolved his cabinetmaking co-partnership with Joseph Rawson, Sr. In July, 1792, the partners announced that, ALL concerned will please to take Notice, that the Co-partnership of WALLEN and RAWSON, was, on the 11th Inst. Mutually dissolved.-Those who have Accounts open with said Company, are requested to call and settle the same, as soon as may be.


N.B. Said Rawson informs the Public, that he still continues the Cabinet and Chair-making Business in all its Branches, at the Shop lately occupied by said Wallen and Rawson.-FIFES of the best Kind, made and Sold by him as usual.(3)

His partnership with Joseph Rawson was active by 1788 when they billed the Reverend Enos Hitchcock for furniture and picture frames.(4)

Wallen died in 1819, leaving an insolvent estate.(5)

Benjamin W. Colman

1. The Newport Mercury, "Deserted," September 23, 1776.

2. The United States Chronicle: Political, Commercial, and Historical, "Wanted," May 10, 1792.

3. The United States Chronicle: Political, Commercial, and Historical, "All Concerned," June 19, 1792.

4. Joseph K. Ott, "Still More Notes On Rhode Island Cabinetmakers and Allied Craftsmen," Rhode Island History 28:4 (November, 1969), 118.

5. Providence Patriot, "Commissioners' Notice," August 28, 1819.