London 27th August
Msrs Samuel &
We presume we need
not trouble you with the copy of what we wrote you last year by
Hooper being persuaded that the original reached you in safety.
Tho' we have since received none of your favors. The balance of
your acct with us - being the amount of the small invoice sent
you by Hooper, we have received of the late company of Champion
& Hayly and carried 14 Pounds and 11 Pence to your credit
for the same & thereby closed your acct in our books. This
is a circumstance that has given us some concern, however
gentlemen, we dispute not your right to turn your favors into
what channel you think most for your interest & when you
judge us capable of serving you, we shall be much at your
service being Very Respectfully
Your Most Humble Servants
Champion & Dickason
We have wrote
Minnells again & again where we have been told he has made
his appearances, but have not been able to obtain any reply to
our said letters.
Vernon Family Genealogy:
William and their
brother Thomas Vernon
were direct dependents of Anne Marbury
Hutchinson, who was one of the original settlers in
Rhode Island after being banished from Massachusetts. She was
the founder of Portsmouth,
Rhode Island in 1638. SEE:
Island Tercentenary FDC with Anne Hutchinson Biography
Anne and William Hutchinson's son, Captain
Edward Hutchinson was married to Elizabeth
Clarke and Katherine
Hamby. Edward and Katherine had a daughter named Anne
Hutchinson whose second husband Daniel
Vernon was the father of three children including
Samuel Vernon born in
1683, who was a noted silversmith of the time and whose work is
still much sought after by collectors.
Samuel Vernon married Elizabeth
Fleet and their son, Daniel
Vernon was the father of
William and Thomas Vernon.
and Thomas Vernon were prominent Newport, RI
merchants during the 18th century. Samuel
and William formed a
partnership which included both mercantile and maritime
interests. Their maritime endeavors included privateering
and the slave trade.
Thomas was also a successful merchant. Both William and Samuel
Vernon were ardent patriots and Samuel was one of the
ringleaders in the Stamp Act Riots of
1765. During the War William was forced to flee to
Narragansett when the British occupied Newport. Thomas Vernon
was a Loyalist, (Tory)
however, even though their sympathies differed, the brothers
remained close and continued to help each other through this
Samuel and William were among the 47 original proprietors
of the Redwood Library
and William became the second president of the library on the
death of Abraham Redwood.
NOTE: The Redwood
Library was established in 1747 and completed in
1750. It is the Oldest Community
Library in America and also the first public
building built in the Classical
was the most noted member of the Vernon family. He was born in
Newport on January 17, 1719 and died on December 22, 1806. He
was elected as President of the Navy
Board in 1777 and is sometimes referred to as the
First Secretary of the Navy. He had charge of
building and equipping the ships of the Continental Navy during
William was a member of the Second
Congregational Church and a founding member of the Newport
Artillery Company in 1741. He was also
instrumental in establishing the Newport
Bank in 1803.
House in Newport, which he
bought in 1773 was Rochambeau's
headquarters during the Revolution. It was here that Rochambeau
met with Washington
and Lafayette to lay
the plans for the Yorktown Campaign.
Samuel and William Vernon were among the most
prominent of the Newport Slave
Traders. They first entered the trade in 1737
with their vessel Olive Branch
under Captain Godfrey. The
Vernon brothers continued in the slave trade right through the
Revolution. They were the first of the Rhode Island slave
traders to realize the advantages of selling their slaves
directly to the Southern Colonies
instead of the Caribbean Islands as was the practice with most
Rhode Island slavers. They sold a cargo in Charleston,
South Carolina in 1755.
William was actively involved in the direct
operation of the trade, once advising one of his Captains that a
speedy trip was essential to making a profit, "We
have often found by experience that having slaves on board a
length of Time, they become Sickly, and may dye before they
arrive at Market."
On another occasion the Vernons advised Captain
Godfrey to, "keep a watchful
eye over 'em and give them no opportunity of making an
Insurrection, and let them have a Sufficiency of good Diet, as
you are sensible your voyage depends upon their health."
There is also on record a sale in 1765 of
prime male slave sold for 130 gallons of rum in Annamaboe. Thos.
Rogers to William Vernon, Feb. 26, 1765."
William continued in the slave trade after the
death of his brother Samuel in 1792 until at least 1799.