Originally, I was unable to find any information on this old
home when I placed this page in February. Since that time; thanks to Barbara
and Doug Rebok's "Early Days in Jamestown and
North Kingstown," I have found out a little more about the Hannah
Robinson House and its location.
Map and History Follow:
The Hannah Robinson House was originally built in 1710. A large
two and one-half story gambrel-roofed house; it was remodeled in 1755 by
Rowland Robinson, a wealthy Narragansett planter. Rowland was the grandson of
the original builder and the father of Hannah.
Originally the house was 105 feet long, however the old kitchen
and slave quarters have been demolished and the current length is about 60
feet. The house has a central chimney and a straight line roof in the old
colonial style and a pedimented doorway and gambrel roof in the Georgian style.
The doorway with its fluted pilasters and broken pediment appear to date from
sometime after 1755.
The west bedroom, known as the Lafayette
Chamber was occupied by the Marquis
de Lafayette during the revolutionary war and contains the names
of French officers on the window-panes.
When Hannah was in her teens she was sent to a finishing school
in Newport, Rhode Island. While attending this school and living with her Aunt;
she met a young Frenchman named Peter Simmons, (the dance
instructor at the school) with whom she later eloped.
Hannah's Story; the desertion by her
French lover, (when he found out she was to be
disinherited), her later poverty and illness, her father's unrelenting anger,
and finally her return - born on a litter carried by slaves to her father's
die are recounted by Alice Morse Earle in the book "Old
There is an unmarked stone at the junction of Tower Hill Road
and Bridgetown Road known as Hannah Robinson's Rock.
Tradition has it that Hannah, when returning to her father's house asked the
slaves carrying her litter to stop here so that she might have one last look at
her beloved Narragansett Country. It is said that she died the following day in
her old bedroom at Hannah Robinson House.
Narragansett and North and South Kingstown were home to many
major plantations with large populations of slaves. A partial list of some of
these slave-holding plantations and their owners follows:
Silas Casey Farm-Saunderstown; Jeffery Champlin Plantation-Charleston;
George Gardiner Plantation-Narragansett; Robert Hazard Plantation-Narragansett; Thomas Hazard Plantation-Narragansett,
largest single slave owner); George
Hazard Plantation-Point Judith; Henry
Marchant Plantation-South Kingston; William Robinson Plantation-South
Kingstown; and the Richard Smith Plantation-Wickford.
Also See: Saunderstown
Postal History Pages