Friday, July 24, 2009

A Real "Dexter" From Antiquarian Providence

While this is a common document, it would have probably thrilled HPL to see it and imagine the daily life of 1789.

1789 receipt of Stephen Dexter, Providence, RI

Handwritten bill and receipt of Stephen Dexter, Providence, Rhode Island, October 28, 1789, addressed to Timothy Green who purchased various textile items. Signed by John T. Spaulding (?) on behalf of Dexter. Paper measures 7 1/2" x 7 3/4", old folds, some old toning, bright ink.

The one Charles Dexter Ward reference that is vaguely tagential: Joseph Curwen, as revealed by the rambling legends embodied in what Ward heard and unearthed, was a very astonishing, enigmatic, and obscurely horrible individual. He had fled from Salem to Providence - that universal haven of the odd, the free, and the dissenting - at the beginning of the great witchcraft panic; being in fear of accusation because of his solitary ways and queer chemical or alchemical experiments. He was a colourless-looking man of about thirty, and was soon found qualified to become a freeman of Providence; thereafter buying a home lot just north of Gregory Dexter's at about the foot of Olney Street.

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