Thomas W. Bicknell

Last updated

Thomas Bicknell Thomas W. Bicknell picture.jpg
Thomas Bicknell
Thomas W. Bicknell and others in front of Dr. John Clarke's grave in Newport (from Bicknell's "Story of Dr. John Clarke") Dr. John Clarke grave.jpg
Thomas W. Bicknell and others in front of Dr. John Clarke's grave in Newport (from Bicknell's "Story of Dr. John Clarke")

Thomas W. Bicknell (September 6, 1834 – 1925) was an American educator, historian, and author.

Contents

Early life and career

Thomas Williams Bicknell was born in Barrington, Rhode Island to Harriet Byron Kinnicutt (1 September 1791 - 15 December 1837), daughter of Josiah Kinnicutt and Rebecca Townsend Kinnicutt, and Rhode Island minister and Senator, Lt.-Col. Allin Bicknell (13 April 1787 - 16 August 1870), who had served with the Bristol County, Rhode Island Militia. [1] Thomas Bicknell attended Thetford Academy in Vermont and Amherst College in Massachusetts, taught school and became principal in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, then principal in Elgin, Illinois.

Barrington, Rhode Island Town in Rhode Island, United States

Barrington is a suburban, residential town in Bristol County, Rhode Island located approximately 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Providence. It was founded by Congregationalist separatists from Swansea, Massachusetts and incorporated in 1717.

Bristol County, Rhode Island County in the United States

Bristol County is a county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,875, making it the least populous county in Rhode Island. In terms of land area it is the third smallest county in the United States, at only 25 square miles (65 km2). The county was created in 1747 when it was separated from Bristol County, Massachusetts. Bristol County is included in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is in turn constitutes a portion of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

Militia generally refers to an army or other fighting force that is composed of non-professional fighters

A militia is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a nation, or subjects of a state, who can be called upon for military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel, or historically, members of a warrior nobility class. Generally unable to hold ground against regular forces, it is common for militias to be used for aiding regular troops by skirmishing, holding fortifications, or irregular warfare, instead of being used in offensive campaigns by themselves. Militia are often limited by local civilian laws to serve only in their home region, and to serve only for a limited time; this further reduces their use in long military campaigns.

When he returned to Rehoboth, serving as principal once again, he earned a master's degree from Brown University. While a senior at Brown he was elected State Representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly. After graduating from Brown, he became principal of Bristol High School and then Arnold Street Grammar School, then back to Bristol High School.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Rhode Island Governor Seth Padelford (Republican 1869–1873) selected Bicknell to be the Commissioner of Public Schools in 1869. As commissioner he focused on re-establishing the Normal School (now Rhode Island College). He was a gifted speaker and fundraiser, who would triple the amount of money spent on public education; he also established a Rhode Island State Board of Education, oversaw the selection of school superintendents in every town and city in the state, dedicated over 50 new schoolhouses, and increased the school year from 27 to 35 weeks.

Seth Padelford American politician

Seth Padelford was the 31st Governor of Rhode Island from 1869 to 1873.

Rhode Island College higher education institution

Rhode Island College (RIC) is a public college in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1854, it is the second oldest college in Rhode Island, after Brown University. Located on a 180-acre campus, the college has a student body of 9,000: 7,518 undergraduates and 1,482 graduate students. RIC is a member of the NCAA and has 17 Division III teams.

Civil rights reformer

In the 1850s Bicknell signed on to help settle the State of "Free Kansas" to prevent the spread of slavery. On the way to Kansas he was taken hostage by bandits on the Missouri River, but after two weeks as a prisoner, sharpshooters set him adrift.

Bicknell was an equaligist, a racial and sexual reformer, an early advocate to end Black segregation in schools; he also helped elect the United States' first all-female school board for the town of Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Tiverton, Rhode Island Town in Rhode Island, United States

Tiverton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,780 at the 2010 census.

Heritage and legacy

Bicknell joined the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1896 and was the founder of the National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims and Order of the Founders and Patriots of America (1898). He re-established, and was the president of, the American Institute of Instruction, and was president of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction and the National Educational Association. He was the president of the New England Publishing Company.

Sons of the American Revolution Nonprofit organization

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution is an American congressionally chartered organization, founded in 1889 and headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. A non-profit corporation, it has described its purpose as maintaining and extending "the institutions of American freedom, an appreciation for true patriotism, a respect for our national symbols, the value of American citizenship, [and] the unifying force of 'e pluribus unum' that has created, from the people of many nations, one nation and one people."

Order of the Founders and Patriots of America lineage society

The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America (OFPA) is a highly restrictive, United States-based, hereditary fraternal organization whose self-declared purpose is to collect and preserve records related to the original American colonists and their descendants, and to promote camaraderie among descendants of original colonists. Its strict bloodline mandates and small size, has earned it a reputation as the most exclusive lineage society in the United States. However, unlike the Society of the Cincinnati, membership eligibility does not descend through family lines by order of agnatic primogeniture, meaning more than one member of the same family can simultaneously hold membership.

The American Institute of Instruction was formed in 1830. The original purpose was to secure a Massachusetts Superintendent of Common Schools. Due the work of Samuel Read Hall, George B. Emerson and E. A. Andrews, legislation was passed leading to both the appointment of Horace Mann as Secretary of the State Board of Education, and the Acts of 1837, providing for a Superintendent of Public Education.

In 1914, wanting to have a town named for him, he offered a 1000-volume library to any town in Utah that would adopt his name. Two towns vied for the prize, Grayson and Thurber; the two towns compromised and in 1916 Thurber changed its name to Bicknell, and Grayson took the name of Blanding, the maiden name of Bicknell's wife. The towns then split the library with 500 books to each. [2]

Bicknell and his wife, Amelia, donated $500 to the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society in Rehoboth, to establish the Blanding Public Library in memory of Amelia's parents, Christopher and Chloe Blanding.

In addition to education, he was also active in civic activities and the church. He served as commissioner from Rhode Island to the Universal Exposition at Vienna, Austria. He helped establish the U.S. Postal Code system as a member of the 1878 Postal Congress. He served as president in over thirty associations and organizations, and was a member in over one hundred. He was president of the International Sunday School Union, the Massachusetts Congregational Sunday School Union, the Chautauqua Teachers' Reading Union, and the New England Sunday School Association.

Writings

Bicknell was an author, editor, and publisher of the New England Journal of Education (Boston, 1875–1880). He was the author of the five-volume History of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, [3] the author-publisher of The Governors of Rhode Island, The Dorr War, The Story of the Rhode Island Normal School, [4] and Story of Dr. John Clarke, [5] and the editor-publisher of History and Genealogy of the Bicknell Family and Collateral Lines. [6] As a historian he also contributed to The Bay State Monthly magazine. [7]

Related Research Articles

Rehoboth, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Rehoboth is a historic town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States. Established in 1643, Rehoboth is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts. The population was 11,608 at the 2010 census. Rehoboth is a mostly rural, suburban community with many historic sites including 53 historic cemeteries.

Swansea, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Swansea is a town in Bristol County in southeastern Massachusetts. It is located at the mouth of the Taunton River, just west of Fall River, 47 miles (76 km) south of Boston, and 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. The population was 15,865 at the 2010 census.

Bicknell, Utah Town in Utah, United States

Bicknell is a town along State Route 24 in Wayne County, Utah, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 327.

Henry Barnard American educationalist

Henry Barnard was an American educationalist and reformer.

William Hutchinson (1586–1641) was a judge in the Colonial era settlement at Portsmouth on the island of Aquidneck. Aquidneck Island was known at the time as Rhode Island, and it later became part of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

John Coggeshall Rhode Island colonial president

John Coggeshall Sr. was one of the founders of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the first President of all four towns in the Colony. He was a successful silk merchant in Essex, England, but he emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1632 and quickly assumed a number of roles in the colonial government. In the mid-1630s, he became a supporter of dissident minister John Wheelwright and of Anne Hutchinson. Hutchinson was tried as a heretic in 1637, and Coggeshall was one of three deputies who voted for her acquittal. She was banished from the colony in 1638, and the three deputies who voted for her acquittal were also compelled to leave. Before leaving Boston, Coggeshall and many other Hutchinson supporters signed the Portsmouth Compact in March 1638 agreeing to form a government based on the individual consent of the inhabitants. They then established the settlement of Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island, one of the four towns comprising the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Benedict Arnold (governor) Rhode Island colonial governor

Benedict Arnold was president and then governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, serving for a total of 11 years in these roles. He was born and raised in the town of Ilchester, Somerset, England, likely attending school in Limington nearby. In 1635 at age 19, he accompanied his parents, siblings, and other family members on a voyage from England to New England where they first settled in Hingham in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In less than a year, they moved to Providence Plantation at the head of the Narragansett Bay at the request of Roger Williams. In about 1638, they moved once again about five miles (8 km) south to the Pawtuxet River, settling on the north side at a place commonly called Pawtuxet. Here they had serious disputes with their neighbors, particularly Samuel Gorton, and they put themselves and their lands under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, a situation which lasted for 16 years.

Rehoboth Carpenter family American family

The Rehoboth Carpenter family is an American family that helped settle the town of Rehoboth, Massachusetts in 1644.

Stephen Bullock was a United States Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Rehoboth, he attended the common schools, taught school, and was a captain of the Sixth Company in Col. Thomas Carpenter III's Regiment of Massachusetts militia during the Revolutionary War, and was in the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. He was a delegate to the first State constitutional convention in 1780 and was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1783, 1785, 1786, 1795, and 1796.

Nicholas Easton (c.1593–1675) was an early colonial President and Governor of Rhode Island. Born in Hampshire, England, he lived in the towns of Lymington and Romsey before immigrating to New England with his two sons in 1634. Once in the New World, he lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony towns of Ipswich, Newbury, and Hampton. Easton supported the dissident ministers John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson during the Antinomian Controversy, and was disarmed in 1637, and then banished from the Massachusetts colony the following year. Along with many other Hutchinson supporters, he settled in Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island, later a part of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was in Portsmouth for about a year when he and eight others signed an agreement to create a plantation elsewhere on the island, establishing the town of Newport.

John Easton (1624–1705) was a political leader in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, devoting decades to public service before eventually becoming governor of the colony. Born in Hampshire, England, he sailed to New England with his widowed father and older brother, settling in Ipswich and Newbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As a supporter of the dissident ministers John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson during the Antinomian Controversy, his father was exiled, and settled in Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island with many other Hutchinson supporters. Here there was discord among the leaders of the settlement, and his father followed William Coddington to the south end of the island where they established the town of Newport. The younger Easton remained in Newport the remainder of his life, where he became involved in civil affairs before the age of 30.

Barrington Civic Center Historic District United States historic place

Barrington Civic Center Historic District is a historic district in Barrington, Rhode Island on County Road. The district, which consists of the Barrington Town Hall, Leander R. Peck School and Prince's Hill Cemetery, is located on Prince's Hill near the center of Barrington. In 1728, Prince's Hill Cemetery was purchased and later expanded to its present size by 1898. The ​1 12-story Barrington Town Hall was completed in 1888 and originally served as the seat of the town's government, library and high school. With the completion of the Leander R. Peck School in 1917, the high school moved into the adjacent building and the library used its space. The two-story Elizabethan Revival style Peck School is designed with a T-shaped plan and features a stairway to access the main entrance on the second story. The Peck School was later used by the fifth and sixth grade elementary students before becoming the public library. Also located within the district is Wood's Pond. The Barrington Civic Center Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and serves as historically significant example of civic and natural environment planning of the late nineteenth century.

John Smith was an early colonial settler and President of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He lived in Boston, but was later an inhabitant of Warwick in the Rhode Island colony where he was a merchant, stonemason, and served as assistant. In 1649 he was selected to be President of the colony, then consisting of four towns. In 1652 he was once again chosen President, but the two towns on Rhode Island had been pulled out of the joint colony, so he only presided over the towns of Providence and Warwick. An important piece of legislation enacted during this second term in 1652 abolished the slavery of African Americans, the first such law in North America.

Henry Bull (1610–1694) was an early colonial Governor of Rhode Island, serving for two separate terms, one before and one after the tenure of Edmund Andros under the Dominion of New England. Sailing from England as a young man, Bull first settled in Roxbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but soon became a follower of the dissident ministers John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson, and was excommunicated from the Roxbury church. With many other followers of Hutchinson, he signed the Portsmouth Compact, and settled on Aquidneck Island in the Narragansett Bay. Within a year of arriving there, he and others followed William Coddington to the south end of the island where they established the town of Newport.

Thomas Carpenter III was born October 24, 1733 in Rehoboth, Province of Massachusetts and died April 26, 1807 in Rehoboth. He was an American Revolutionary War officer who served as a colonel in the Massachusetts Militia and commanded the First Bristol Regiment from 1776 to 1780. Carpenter was elected as a delegate in 1774 to represent Rehoboth for the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and was elected Deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1775.

William Greene (colonial governor) Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

William Greene Sr. was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was a clerk of the county court in Providence, deputy from Warwick, speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly, and then deputy governor from 1740 to 1743. He became governor for the first time in 1743 and served four separate terms for a total of 11 years, and died while in office during his final term.

Joseph Jenckes (governor) Rhode Island colonial governor

Joseph Jenckes was a deputy governor and governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Thomas Angell (c.1616–1694) was one of the four men who wintered with Roger Williams at Seekonk, Plymouth Colony in early 1636, and then joined him in founding the settlement of Providence Plantation in what became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was a minor at the time of his arrival, but his name appears on several of the early documents related to the settlement of Providence. In the early 1650s, he became active in the affairs of the town, serving as commissioner, juryman, and constable. In 1658, he began his service as the Providence Town Clerk and held this position for 17 years. He wrote his will in 1685, dying almost a decade later in 1694, leaving a widow and many grown children. Angell Street on Providence's East Side is named for him.

References

  1. Bicknell, T. W. History and genealogy of the Bicknell family and some collateral lines, of Normandy, Great Britain and America. Comprising some ancestors and many descendants of Zachary Bicknell from Barrington, Somersetshire, England, 1635 by Thomas Williams Bicknell; USA; 1913, p. 173.
  2. Van Cott, John W. (1990). Utah Place Names. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press. p. 31. ISBN   0-87480-345-4.
  3. Bicknell, Thomas W. (1920). History of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The American Historical Society.
  4. Bicknell, Thomas W. (1911). The Story of Rhode Island Normal School.
  5. Bicknell, Thomas W. (1915). Story of Dr. John Clarke.
  6. Bicknell, Thomas W., ed. (1913). History and Genealogy of the Bicknell Family and Collateral Lines.
  7. "The Bay State Monthly – Volume 1 (Contents)". Books Should Be Free. Retrieved April 28, 2013.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Thomas W. Bicknell at Wikimedia Commons