The first Post Office at Jamestown,
(Jamestown Township, Newport County), Rhode Island
was established on April 12, 1836. The first Postmaster
was Caleb Weaver. The post office was disestablished
on December 31, 1836. The second Jamestown Post
Office was established on February 23, 1847 and
disestablished on April 10, 1850. The third
Jamestown Post Office was established on July 5,
1850 under Postmaster Benjamin Congdon. This Post Office
is currently in operation under Postmaster Charles V. Burns
appointed on May 28, 2005.
(There are no known covers
from the first Jamestown Post Office.)
The official Jamestown Library
(Historical) Website states that,
first post office was established in 1844, with William A. Weeden, Jr., as the
postmaster." This contradicts the information in "Rhode Island
Postal History" by Merolla, Jackson and Crowther.
William Weeden was actually the first Postmaster of the 2nd Jamestown Post
Office established in 1847.
The island of Conanicut,
(Jamestown) takes it name from the Narragansett Indian
Chief Canonicus. Conanicut Island was purchased
by Benedict Arnold and William Coddington from the
Narragansett's in 1657. The town of Jamestown
(originally James Towne, (for King James) was incorporated
on November 4, 1678.
NOTE: The Benedict Arnold
mentioned above was not the Arnold of later infamy. It is believed that the old
Stone Tower in Newport, RI was originally built as
a mill by Arnold. SEE:
Settling of Rhode Island - Doback Cachet with Old
Stone Mill History
Four Islanders are
mentioned as being engaged in the African and West Indies
slave trade during the early 19th century. They were Captains
Gardiner, Eldred, Fowler, and
Remington. The Weeden and Weaver families are
both mentioned as being prominent in early Jamestown history. Other families
that were prominent in early Jamestown history include the Anthonys,
Arnolds, Carrs, Gardiners,
Howlands, Hulls, and Watsons.
There are two bridges
connecting Jamestown with the mainland on either side of the bay; to Plum
Point in North Kingstown and to Newport. Prior to the
bridges being constructed, there were a number of ferries operating to
both sides of the bay. The last of these ferries; the Newport Ferry was
in operation until 1969 when the Claiborne Pell Bridge
was completed between Jamestown and Newport. Prior to 1940,
there were also ferries in operation between Jamestown and
Saunderstown and Jamestown and South Ferry Landing.
The first ferry was
established between Jamestown and Newport by Governor Carr
who obtained the charter in 1695. Ferry service was
established to the West Shore (North Kingstown) in
1709. During the Revolutionary War both
ferries and landings were destroyed by the British,
who also burned and destroyed the town of Jamestown
except for the house of the Tory, Captain John Martin.
Beavertail Lighthouse, at
the extreme southern point of the island is no longer operational, but is
maintained as a historic site and attracts many visitors
Light Event Cover - RIPEX 27 Event Cover
- Includes history of the Light and a personal story.
Jamestown Post Office