Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


From the book entitled: New England families, genealogical and memorial: a record of the achievements of her people in the making of commonwealths and the founding of a nation, Volume 2 New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial
Editor: William Richard Cutter
Publisher: Lewis historical publishing company, 1914
Pages: 1008-1013

Zachariah Rhodes, the immigrant RHODES ancestor, was born in 1603. The first mention of him is in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, where he was living in 1643. In 1646 he moved from there to Rhode Island. In 1644 he had lot No. 46 in the division of wood land at Rehoboth, and on July 5, 1644, he signed the agreement of the settlers forming a town government there. He drew lot No. 45 in the division of the Great Plain, July 9, 1645, and lot No. 37 in the meadow division, February 18, 1646. In 1646 he settled at Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, on the Cranston side of the Pawtuxet river, and here he became a large property owner. According to the records he refused to obey the Massachusetts laws requiring him to contribute to the support of public preaching, and this seems to be the reason that he moved to Rhode Island. He was an Independent or Baptist in religion, and was doubtless banished from Massachusetts because of his views, as a letter written by Roger Williams seems to show. Zachariah Rhodes was one of those in favor of joining Pawtuxet with Rhode Island rather than with Massachusetts. In 1664 and 1665 he was treasurer of Providence and a member of the town council. He was a prominent man in public affairs and held various offices. He was admitted a freeman, May 18, 1658. He was chosen commissioner in 1658, and was fined on May 18 for not appearing at the general court of commissioners. In 165961-62-63 he also served as commissioner, and in 1663-64 he was a member of the general assembly of Rhode Island from Providence; he also served in 1665. On June 1, 1653, he signed with five others an address to the court at Boston asking that Pawtuxet be dismissed

from the government of Massachusetts colony. One record says that he was a friend of the Indian Chief, "Pumham," and that he saved the colony from a raid by the Indians through his influence over the chief. He was one of the commissioners to treat with the Narragansett Indians. His will was dated in 1662 and he died in 1665. A letter written by Roger Williams seems to show that he was drowned in Narragansett bay off the shores of Pawtuxet; the letter was dated August 24, 1669.

He married, about March, 1646, Joanna, born February 27, 1617, daughter of William Arnold (see Arnold). She married (second) July 11, 1666, Samuel Reape ( ?), of Newport; the marriage seems to have been unfortunate, as she was allowed by the general court to dispose of her own estate. Her will was proved January 27, 1667, several years before her death. She died in 1692. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes: Jeremiah; Malachi; Zachariah; John, mentioned below; Peleg; Elizabeth ; Mary, married John Low; Rebecca, married (first) Nicholas Power, (second) Daniel Williams, son of Roger Williams.

(II) John, son of Zachariah Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet, Warwick, Rhode Island, died August 14, 1716. He was made freeman of Rhode Island, May 3, 1681, at which time he was living in Warwick. He and Daniel Williams were the executors of his mother's estate, October 26, 1681. On June 12, 1688, he was elected constable for Warwick, and on May 17, 1700, he was elected general attorney for Rhode Island, re-elected August 27, 1700, by the general assembly. He was deputy to the general assembly, May 5, 1702, from Warwick, also in 1703-04-07, when he was clerk of the assembly. He married (first) February 12, 1685, Waite, born in 1668, daughter of Resolved and Mercy (Williams) Waterman (see Williams). Resolved Waterman was son of Colonel Richard Waterman; Richard was son of Lord George Waterman, mayor of London, 1665. John Rhodes married (second) Sarah -.

(III) Major John (2) Rhodes, son of John (1) Rhodes, was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, November 20, 1691, died there in 1776. He held a commission as major in the colonial militia. He was made freeman, May 1, 1716. He was deputy to the general assembly in May, 1731, May. 1735, May, 1742, May, 1743, when he was first mentioned as major, May, 1744, May, 1751, May, 1753. In 1721 he was engaged in a religious dispute with parties in Newport. He married, January 29, 1714, Catherine, daughter of Lieutenant Charles and Catherine (Greene) Holden, of Warwick. She died July 25, 1731. Children: Charles, mentioned below; John, Holden, Waite.

(IV) Captain Charles Rhodes, son of Major John (2) Rhodes, was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, September 29, 1719, died at Cranston, Rhode Island, February 22. 1777. He was made freeman in 1740. He was a mariner in his younger days, but later in life seems to have been engaged in farming. He owned large tracts of land in Pawtuxet. He owned two slaves, Ismail and Esau, whom he freed and gave land to in Warwick. Their descendants still live there, and bear the name of Rhodes. He owned several vessels which went to various ports. In February, 1765, he signed the petition to the general assembly for the establishment or incorporation of the Rhode Island college now known as Brown University of Providence. In 1764 he was ordained as elder of the Six Principle Baptist Church, and with Elder Elisha Greene was placed in charge of the Cranston church. In 1766 the following was recorded: "Elder Rhodes fell from his steadfastness in faith and practice, which caused much trouble in the Church, and after admonitions and exhortations to him from the Church to repent of his errors and return, without effect, they withdrew their fellowship from him; and his conduct being laid before the general association in that order, held in Elder Thurston's meeting house at Newport, on September following, by messengers, and his breaking covenant with the Church and brethren, the Association withdrew all spiritual fellowship from him, and revoked all the Authority he received by his ordination to act in a ministerial capacity." Another record states that nothing was said against his moral or religious character. He seems to have adopted the views of Sandeman of England in regard to breaking bread every Sunday, and the washing of the feet of brethren. Until the end of his life he continued to preach, however. On November 3, 1770, he advertised his farm in Warwick as for sale, with a hundred acres of land, and the dwelling house in Cranston with seventeen acres of land. He lived in a house now standing on the Cranston side of Pawtuxet river, sometimes called the Captain Stephen Smith house. This is supposed to be the oldest house in Pawtuxet, and is situated on the southeast corner of Main and George streets (1888). He married, January 31, 1739, Deborah, daughter of Peter and Keziah (Davis) Greene, of Warwick.

(V) Captain Peter Rhodes, son of Captain Charles Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet, town of Warwick, Rhode Island, February 24, 1741, died in Warwick in 1823, and was buried on the farm now known as the Brown (Governor Nicholas) farm in Warwick; this farm probably belonged to the Greene family, as his mother was Deborah Greene. He was a mariner in his younger days, but later became a farmer. In 1774 he and his brother Charles joined as charter members of the Pawtuxet Rangers, and served in 1781 in United States service. In 1793 he was the owner of the schooner "Sally," which sailed from Pawtuxet under Captain Joseph Rhodes and afterward under Captain Benjamin Rhodes. He served in the revolution in 1778 on board the "Sally," in Narragansett, as lieutenant; also as a private in the Pawtuxet Rangers in 1781. He married, March 22, 1761, Hester, daughter of Simon and Lydia (Greene) Arnold, of Warwick; she was a descendant of William Arnold. Peter Rhodes lived in the gamble house on Fish Hill at Pawtuxet. Children, born at Warwick: Peleg; Benjamin; Lydia; Phebe, married Josiah Hedburg; Anthony; James, mentioned below; Arnold; Rosanna; Charles. (The sons all became sea captains).

(VI) Captain James Rhodes, son of Captain Peter Rhodes, was born in Warwick, July 11, 1773. He and his brothers followed their father's calling, and became sea captains. In 1807 he was in command of the schooner "Sally," sailing to Saint Thomas, West Indies; this vessel was very likely named for his wife Sarah, but called Sally. His protection papers during the war of 1812 describe him as follows : "Five feet 8 in high. Light Complexion." As there was another James Rhodes in the state, he added his father's name, Peter, to his name, and was known as Captain James P. Rhodes. He was master of several vessels and sailed to many ports. He was a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 9, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Pawtuxet, Warwick, 1810. He died at the home of his son, Captain Elisha H. Rhodes, at Cranston, December 26. 1832, and he was buried in the Rhodes Lot in the Arnold burial ground. He married, August 16, 1795, Sarah, born April 13, 1775, died at the home of her son, Captain Elisha H. Rhodes, February 17, 1851, daughter of Zebedee Hunt, of Pawtuxet. Children, born at Warwick: Catherine P., July 22, 1796, married Abraham Brightman; Esther A., February 3, 1798, married Rufus Case; Elisha Hunt, mentioned below; Sally P., April 27, 1810, married Captain John S. Adamson, of England.

(VII) Captain Elisha Hunt Rhodes, son of Captain James P. Rhodes, was born at Warwick, July 28, 1805, in a house now standing (1912) on the west side of Main street, nearly opposite Shelden street. When he was thirteen years of age he began a seafaring life, which he continued until his death. He began on board a coasting vessel owned by his father, and received quick promotions until he became captain when he was only eighteen years of age. In 1826 he was master of the sloop "Harmony," and in 1833 of the schooner "Mary," owned by Elisha H. Rhodes, David Barton and John Pierce. In 1839 he was master of the schooner "Charleston Packett," owned by Elisha H. Rhodes, James E. Anthony and Jefferson Booden; in 1839 of the schooner "Holder Border." In 1847 he built the schooner "Worcester," named in honor of the opening of the Providence and Worcester railroad, which occurred the day the vessel was launched. This vessel was considered large for the times. He worked in the coasting trade, going to and from Philadelphia with occasional trips to other ports until 1855-56, when the "Worcester" was dismasted off Sandy Hook and towed into New York by the United States revenue cutter "Washington," commanded by Captain Faunce. In 1858 he sailed as master, with Captain John S. Adamson as first mate, with a cargo from Providence to Philadelphia; they then loaded for Mobile, and during a gale on the night of December 10, 1858, the vessel struck on a reef near Linyards Key, Abbaco, Bahama Islands, and became a total wreck. He and his first mate were drowned, and their bodies were recovered and buried on Linyards Key. The rest of the crew were saved. In appearance Captain Rhodes was nearly six feet in height, of light complexion, blue eyes, and when he died he weighed two hundred and sixty-five pounds. His death was mourned by many friends. The funeral service was held in the Pawtuxet Baptist Church, January 23, 1859, the Rev. Foster Henry, pastor of the church, conducting it.

He married, June 17, 1823, at Danby, Vermont, Eliza Ann, daughter of Dudley Chase (see Chase V). She was born at Steep Brook, Fall River, July 30, 1805, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Sarah Louise (Rhodes) Barton, wife of John Barton, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, May 5, 1885, aged seventynine years. Children: Mary Eliza, born April 22, 1824, married Colville d: Brown, July 16, 1840, died March 8, 1864; Sarah Louise, July 28, 1833, died February 16, 1834; Sarah Louise, January 25, 1835, married, May 9, 1852, John Barton; Emily Chace, November 20, 1836, died January 6, 1839; Emily Chace, February 5, 1839, died August 8, 1868; Elisha Hunt, mentioned below; Elizabeth Potter, December 12, 1843, died January 2, 1847; James Dudley, December 28, 1845, married, October 4, 1870, Rebecca H. Hastings, died in Ellsworth, Maine, December 25, 1893; Colville Brown, December 10, 1849, married, August 29, 1881, Laura E. Cheney.

(VIII) General Elisha Hunt Rhodes, son of Captain Elisha Hunt Rhodes, was born in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island, March 21, 1842. He attended the public schools until he was fourteen, and after a year in the Fountain street grammar school in Providence took a course in a commercial academy. After the death of his father he was employed in a counting room in Providence until the civil war. He enlisted as a private in the Second Rhode Island Regiment, but was made a corporal June 6, 1861, and took part with his regiment in the battle of Bull Run. The regiment had the leading place in one of the main columns when the LTnion forces advanced, and were surprised by an unexpected volley of musketry from the woods. Colonel Slocum, who was in command, halted his lines and prepared for battle, but he was soon disabled, receiving a bullet wound in the back of his head and two in his ankle. Mr. Rhodes and Private Thomas Parker bore him from the field to the temporary hospital. Soon after the battle Mr. Rhodes was assigned to the color guard of the regiment and remained in that position until November when he was detailed to headquarters under Major-General Buell, and afterward under Major-General Key, under whom he served until spring. He was made sergeant-major of the regiment. He was commissioned second lieutenant, July 24, 1862, and first lieutenant, March 2, 1863. He was always on duty and repeatedly demonstrated his courage and other soldierly qualities. He was made adjutant of the regiment, November 7, 1863, and assigned to duty on the regimental staff. When Major Jenckes and other officers and men of the regiment were mustered out at the expiration of their terms of service, June 6, 1864, but 326 enlisted men remained in command of Captain Henry H. Young, who was appointed inspector general on the brigade staff, and the command fell to Adjutant Rhodes. A single day was allowed for the reorganization of the regiment, which was ordered to the trenches of Cold Harbor. Three companies were formed and non-commissioned officers appointed to command. Continuous shelling from rifle and mortar batteries continued until June 12, when the army crossed the James river to Petersburg on June 17. He was promoted captain, June 24, his commission to date from May 5. Captain Rhodes and his regiment were at the destruction of the Welden railroad, near Ream's Station. On the first of the following July, the regiment was transferred to the Third Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps, and went to the defense of Washington at the time of Early's raid. The Corps moved to Harper's Ferry, August 6, and was attached to the Middle Division under the command of Major General Sheridan. On the nineteenth of September the Union army crossed the Opequan river, the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps attacking General Early's command. The Second Rhode Island lost several men and was mentioned for gallant conduct in official reports. Captain Rhodes was complimented on the field by his brigade commander and was brevetted major, December 5, 1864, for gallant and meritorious conduct in this engagement. The Sixth Corps left the valley, December 6, for Washington, by transport to City Point, taking the front and relieving the Fifth Corps in the trenches before Petersburg. Major Rhodes was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, January 31, 1865, and brevetted colonel, April 2, 1865, for gallant conduct at Petersburg. In the attack on Petersburg, April 2, the Sixth Corps took an active part and when the works were taken Colonel Rhodes was the first to mount the parapet. At Sailor's Creek, April 6, Colonel Rhodes again distinguished himself. He plunged into the water at the head of his command and drove the Rebels from the opposite bank into the woods. The march was resumed April 7, and Lee's army overtaken at Appomattox Court House, where it surrendered on the ninth. Afterward the Second Regiment did guard and provost duty at Wellsville. Colonel Rhodes returned home in command of his regiment, which was mustered out July 28, 1865. His commission as colonel was dated July 18, 1865. He commanded the regiment from June 5, 1864, until it was mustered out.

When the Rhode Island militia was reorganized in 1879, Colonel Rhodes was elected the first commander of the brigade with the rank of brigadier-general and he succeeded in bringing his command to a high state of efficiency. At his own request he was placed on the retired list, March 21, 1892. He received the rare and well-earned honor of public thanks from the general assembly for his service in the militia of the state. This resolution was wrought in bronze and is an enduring memorial of a brilliant military career. General Rhodes has taken a prominent part in the Grand Army of the Republic. He was a charter member of Prescott Post, No. 1, Department of Rhode Island, and was its commander two years. He was commander of the department of Rhode Island two terms and was senior vice-commander-in-chief in 1877. He was the first president of the Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society of Rhode

Island, serving in this office for seven years. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. A member of the Hooker (Military) Association of Massachusetts. A member and president of the Second Rhode Island Volunteer and Battery A Veteran Association; and an honorary member of many of the Rhode Island Veteran Associations. He has been prominent in Masonic and other fraternal orders. He was master of Harmony Lodge, No. 9, Free and Accepted Masons, in 1886, and grand master of Rhode Island from May, 1893, to May; 1895. His grandfather, father and his son were also members of this lodge. In 1886 he was ruler of What Cheer Assembly, Royal Society of Good Fellows. He joined Golden Rule Lodge, No. 697, Knights of Honor, April 2, 1883, and was dictator of the lodge in 1886 and grand dictator in March, 1895. Upon retiring from that office in March, 1896, his brethren elected him supreme representative for two years and presented to him a past grand dictator's jewel.

In 1875 General Rhodes was appointed collector of internal revenue for the district of Rhode Island and was continued in this office for ten years. Since 1885 he has been a member of the board of assessors of taxes of the city of Providence and at present is chairman. General Rhodes is an able public speaker and has delivered many lectures on civil war topics. He is a director of the Old Colony Cooperative Bank, and president of the Home for Aged Men and Aged Couples for eleven years. He is a deacon of the Central Baptist Church and was superintendent of the Sunday school for a period of fifteen years. In politics he is a Republican.

He married, June 12, 1866, Caroline Pearce, daughter of Joshua and Amy A. (Pearce) Hunt, of Providence. Children: 1. Frederick Miller, born April 22, 1867; married Annie Pierce, daughter of Rev. Samuel H. Webb; children: Elisha Hunt, 2d., Frederick Miller Jr., and James Webb. 2. Alice Caroline, born September 18, 1871; married, November 19, 1906, Howard Phettiplace Chace, of Providence, and has one child, Robert Rhodes, born November 15, 1911.

(The Arnold Line).

William Arnold, the American immigrant, was born June 24, 1587, died in 1676. He resided in Cheselbourne, and November 23, 1616, he was appointed administrator of the estate of his brother John. In 1635 he removed with his family from Dorsetshire to New England. He lived for a short time in Hingham, Massachusetts, where he was a proprietor in 1635. In 1636 he became associated with Roger Williams and others in the purchase of land in Rhode Island, and he received large tracts of land in Providence, Pawtuxet and Warwick. He was one of the thirteen original proprietors of Providence, and signed the agreement of government in 1640. He was a leading man of the colony, and held various offices of trust. On March 9, 1658-59, a statement was made that he was lately robbed of property in Pawtuxet by the Indians. He was commissioner from Providence to the court of commissioners ih 1661. He married Christian, daughter of Christopher Peake. Children: Elizabeth, born November 23, 1611; Benedict, December 3, 1613; Joanna, February 27, 1617, married Zachariah Rhodes (see Rhodes I). (Captain Peter Rhodes (see Rhodes V) married Hester, daughter of Simon Arnold, who was also a descendant of this William Arnold) ; Stephen, December 22, 1622.


Also see:
Descendants of Elisha Hunt Rhodes
Elisha Hunt Rhodes of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer's