The Olney Connection

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  • ID: I22245
  • Name: Stephen OLNEY
  • Surname: Olney
  • Given Name: Stephen
  • Prefix: Capt.
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 12 Oct 1755 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Death: 23 Nov 1832 in North Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Burial: 23 Nov 1832 Olney Farm Cemetery, Smithfield Road, North Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Ancestral File #: 8PK1-DN
  • _UID: 79A696B22DADF5418E8F3C0AAE4F5D3B6F7B
  • Note:
    Williams, Catherine R. Biography of Revolutionary Heroes; Containing the Life of Brigadier Gen. William Barton, and Also, of Captain Stephen Olney. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1839.

    A Biography OF William Vredenburgh Revolutionary War Veteran AND Three Generations of His Descendants
    By Larry Mark Vredenburgh, October 1997

    The siege of Yorktown had begun. On Saturday night October sixth, work began on two trenches, which were parallel to the defenses at Yorktown.

    Davis (1970, p. 228 - 229) describes the rest of the short but furious battle:

    Old Captain Olney led the way though the palisade and called to his men, "Olney's company form here!" Half a dozen bayonets lunged down at him, and Olney tried to beat them off with his long spear. The bayonets slashed his fingers and stabbed into his thigh and abdomen, but Olney felled one of the enemy with a blow to the forehead. The captain's life was saved by two of his men who had loaded their muskets in defiance of orders and now drove off the redcoat party with their fire.
    Some one in the front shouted, "Rush on boys! The fort's ours!"

    The British threw small hand grenades, which crackled in the trench-so many of them that the Americans thought they were fire crackers.

    The 2nd Rhode Island Regiment of the Continental Line

    During the spring and summer the Rhode Island line remained in the New York area. The Light Infantry company which had left the area before the consolidation was in Virgina with Lafayette.

    During July the Rhode Island Light Infantry played an important role in a skirmish along the James River near Green Spring. This action along with those of Gen. Nathaniel Greene of the Southern Division helped steer Cornwallis's army to Yorktown.

    The French mounted an assault on Redoubt #9 at the same time as the Light Infantry began their assault. The French met stiffer resistance than the Americans and took an hour onger to complete the mission.

    With the successful capture of the redoubts the Americans and French began digging a second series of parallels closer to Yorktown. Cornwallis realized that escape was impossible and to hold out any longer would serve no purpose. On the 18th of October Cornwallis surrendered and the next day the Crown forces marched out of Yorktown and laid down their arms before the French and American armies.

    The surrender of 7000 men at Yorktown was the death knell for British aims to hold onto the former colonies. It was recognized that it was all over for the British but until a peace treaty was signed Washington had to maintain an army in case negotiations broke down.

    Following Yorktown, Olney's Battalion marched north to Philadelphia where they arrived in early December. The battalion was quartered in various barracks throughout the city. While at Philadelphia disease spread thru the garrision. Greenman, who was recently exchanged, arrived in town and noted "the Regiment very Sickly & much reduced with Deaths." For the officers of the battalion the winter was spent attending various parties and celebrations.

    With news that Cornwallis was boxed in at Yorktown, Washington began the march that would seal the fate of the enemy. Leaving West Point at the end of August, Washington brought with him the Rhode Islander's. In face the only New England unit that was at Yorktown was Olney's Battalion. The rest of the New England force remained in New York as a threat to the British force in the city.

    Swiftly and quietly moving down the seaboard, Olney's Battalion arrived at Yorktown on the 1st of October. Joined by Rochambeau's French army the allied force greatly outnumbered the British. The only hope for Cornwallis was if the British fleet could rescue him. As fortune would have it the French fleet under deGrasse defeated the British and sealed Cornwallis's fate.

    As the days wore on the Americans moved their seige lines closer towards the British, boxing them in against the river. On the night of the 14th the Light Infantry, led by Captain Stephen Olney's company, stormed the British Redoubt #10. Olney, armed with a spontoon, was one of the first to enter the redoubt. During the storming he was wounded several times by British bayonets. As Olney mounted the parapet he was heard to cry out, "Captain Olney's company form here!" This phrase was spoken perhaps as an intimidation to the defending British that their redoubt had fallen and that further resistance was futile. On the other hand Olney may have well become separated from his command and in this exposed position he was in dire need of help.

    As it turned out several of Olney's men were right behind him and helped ward off the British attempts to kill their commander. Olney's use of the spontoon during the storming of Redoubt #10 is regarded as the last use of this type of weapon in American history. Within fifteen minutes the redoubt was secure and the Light Infantry looked left to the action at Redoubt #9.

    In May, 1782, Captain Stephen Olney resigned from the service as he felt that the war was over and he did not wish to stay on just to receive a pension. Olney's place as commander of the Light Infantry company was taken by Capt. William Allen.

    [Brøderbund WFT Vol. 7, Ed. 1, Tree #3182, Date of Import: Mar 17, 1999]

    Olney Genealogy, pg 42 (See also picture, pg43): "He was among the first to respond to the call for the defense of his country against British oppression, and enlisted in the army when but twenty years of age. He was chosen sergeant of his company, and rapidly rose to the position of captain. He served throughout the war and was present in many battles, among which were Long Island, White Plains, Monmouth, Springfield, Red Bank, and Yorktown. He was in the division of Gen. Lafayette, and had so gained his esteem for coolness and bravery that he was chosen to lead the attacking column at Yorktown. Moving at the head of his company, in the early morning, he completely surprised the British in their redoubt, who were at breakfast. He at once leaped down upon their table, his men immediately following him, and the redoubt was soon taken. He was, however, severely wounded, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. He afterwards retired to his ancestral home in North Providence (RI), where he resided until his death. He was not allowed to remain long in retirement, but was repeatedly called to positions of trust and honor. For many years he was a member of the Town Council and State Assembly. He also surveyed several of the Turnpike roads in the State. His farm of 500 or more acres was largely under cultivation, and the product of his orchards was enormous, from which during some years over 300 barrels of cider were manufactured. He was an earnest politician of the old Federal school, and many anecdotes are told illustrating the peculiar traits of his character. The friendship existing between Gen. Lafayette and himself was clearly exhibited when the former made his last visit to America, in 1824. "He came to Providence, and as he was ascending the steps of the court house, he saw Captain Olney standing there, and springing forward he caught him in his arms and kissed him with all the fondness that a parent would a long absent child"."
    Almon D Hodges and His Neighbors:

    Monday, August 23, 1824, was a great day for Rhode Island, and a long and oratorical day for the Nation's Guest, General Lafayette.
    Early in the morning the General left Plainfield, Connecticut, about thirty miles from Providence, and rode under escort to the State line. Here he was met, with welcoming speeches, by the aides of the Governor of Rhode Island and other persons, and conducted to the Providence boundary. At this point the representatives of the town met him, delivered themselves of their speech, and placed him in a barouche drawn by four white horses; and amid the booming of cannon, he was escorted through town by a procession more [Image for Almon D Hodges and His Neighbors ]than a mile long. The General rode alone, uncovered, saluted with a continuous roar of cheers, -- the crowd, through which he passed slowly, taking advantage of every pause to obtain the honor of grasping his hand. It was a general holiday. All the stores were closed and all business ceased.

    At the foot of the State House parade, on North Main Street, Lafayette alighted and walked between lines of whiteclad girls who strewed his path with flowers. Entering the State House, he embraced his former companion in arms, Stephen Olney, and was received -- with more oratory -- by Governor James Fenner and other officials. Crossing Benefit Street to the Globe tavern,(*) he held there a popular reception, and was banqueted, and toasted, by the town authorities. About half-past four in the afternoon, arm in arm with the Governor, he walked in review in front of the militia, drawn up on parade on Benefit Street, and on arriving at the end of the line was again addressed. Entering a carriage with the Governor, an officer of the militia (Col. Bowen), and a distinguished citizen (Zachariah Allen), he rode away, cheered by the populace and escorted by a numerous company on horseback and in carriages.

    In Pawtucket the General was greeted by a display of flags, ringing of bells, salutes of artillery, and a fresh concourse of enthusiastic people. He alighted for a few minutes, and many citizens were introduced to him, shook hands with him, and evinced a willingness to address him. Thence he proceeded, still under escort, to the Massachusetts boundary, which he reached at six o'clock, where he was formally and oratorically turned over to the care of the Bay State, represented officially by the Governor's staff and unofficially by an admiring multitude.
    The triumphal procession moved on along the turnpike to Boston, everywhere greeted with enthusiasm. At eight o'clock it came to Fuller's tavern in Walpole, where "a large battalion of troops" was encountered; also shoutings and addresses. Near midnight Dedham was reached. The town was illuminated. A brief stop was made, a large number of ladies and gentlemen was introduced and a few brief speeches were spoken. At Roxbury there were rockets, salvos of artillery, and more cheering; and here, escorted by a throng of people, he arrived at two o'clock in the morning at the residence of his old friend of the Continental Army, Governor William Eustis, was embraced, introduced, hand-shaken, addressed, cheered madly, and finally allowed to go to bed.

    This seems to have been a sample day of Lafayette's triumphant tour through the United States. That for a whole year he could listen diurnally to so many "eloquent speeches" and make so many "fitting replies," indicates strong powers of endurance.
    Message on Olney GenForum:
    "We recently visited Providence R.I and were pleased to find the family gravesite in North Providence better protected than when family members were last there. Look for "Captain Stephen Olney Park". The graves are fenced at the bottom of the park, just behind his home."


    There are @ 20 graves in the cemetery, all of which are Olneys. They include Stephen and his wife, Dorcas, his parents, Joseph and Martha, and his grandparents, Thomas and Sarah. The most recent burial was Mary Elizabeth Olney who died in 1952 and was the last Olney resident of the family homestead which is right next door to the park. Did Trisha tell you we read Stephen's war journal at the historical society? A delightful piece of history that has never been published! If you are a descendant of this man, you'll know where your sense of humor comes from!

    Perhaps the S. Olney listed as follows:

    Second Regiment.ÙXColonel, Israel Angell; Captains, C. Olney, S. Olney, Dexter, Potter, Humphreys, Tew, Hughes, Allen (detachment of Colonel Green); commissioned officers, 27; staff, 4; non-commissioned and privates, 469.
    American Biographical Library
    The Biographical Cyclopædia of American Women
    Volume II
    Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution
    Alphabetical List of Officers of the Continental Army
    Fifteenth Virginia
    page 420
    Olney, Stephen (R. I.). Ensign 2d Rhode Island, 3d May to December, 1775; 1st Lieutenant 11th Continental Infantry, 1st January to 31st December, 1776; 1st Lieutenant 2d Rhode Island, 1st January, 1777; Captain, 11th February, 1777; wounded at Springfield, 23d June, 1780; retained in Olney's Rhode Island Battalion, 14th May, 1781; wounded at Yorktown, 14th October, 1781; resigned 17th March, 1782. (Died 23d November, 1832.)

    Burial: November 23, 1832, Wenscot Farm, Olney Farm Cemetery, Smithfield Road, North Providence, RI
    Politics/Military: Retired as a Capt, RI Militia, chosen to Town Council & State Assembly-See Notes575,576

    Headstones Identified in Olney Farm Cemetery in North Providence which were not noted in the Rhode Island Cemetery Transcription Project. By Rex Moore:

    1. Mary Elizabeth Olney - unmarried, last to be buried in the 1900's.
    2. Sarah Everett - Wife of Almon A. Olney
    3. Mary J. Bartlett
    4. Unknown headstone. - unreadable.
    5. Stephen H. Olney
    6. Stephen B. Olney and his wife Elizabeth S. Olney
    7. 3 infant children of Stephen B.
    A. infant son
    B. Martha S. Olney - died young about 2 years old
    C. Elizabeth H. Olney - died young
    8. Martha Ann Pearce
    9. Eve Pearce - mother of Martha Ann and second wife to Ruben Pearce

    For a few violent seconds, the Battle of Yorktown's outcome hinged on Captain Stephen Olney's lone assault; Olney, George W Military History 10-01-2001 For a few violent seconds, the Battle of Yorktown's outcome hinged on Captain Stephen Olney's lone assault Byline: Olney, George W Volume: 18 Number: 4 ISSN: 08897328 Publication Date: 10-01-2001 Page: 20 Type: Periodical Language: English Posterity often recognizes uncommon acts by common soldiers, or pays homage to great leaders for the decisions that win battles. Between them, directing the men who carry out their commander's intent, are the officers and noncommissioned officers, of whom the key figure in the combat line is the infantry company commander. One such officer was Captain Stephen Olney. As a sixth-generation lineal descendant of Stephen Olney, I uncovered his story in the course of several years of genealogical research. Eighteen years as a U.S. Army officer helped me to envision what it must have been like for him during the wild night attack on the British fortifications outside Yorktown on October 14,1781. Yorktown was the climactic land battle of the American Revolution, and the storming of the two outlying redoubts contributed directly to Lt. Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis' surrender on October 19. Born in Rhode Island on October 12, 1755, Stephen Olney was a direct descendant of Thomas Olney, one of the original "Thirteen Proprietors of Providence" who founded that colony. Stephen began his military career in 1775, as a 20-year-old ensign in Colonel Daniel Hitchcock's regiment. Olney's family was staunchly committed to the cause of independence from England-no less than four officers of Hitchcock's regiment were members of the Olney clan. Even Stephen's father, Joseph Olney, took up arms as a militia skirmisher shortly before his death in 1779. On June 17, 1775, Stephen took part in the Battle of Breed's Hill outside Boston, though he was more of a target for British artillery than anything else. Mustered into the Continental Army a month later and promoted to lieutenant, Olney next saw combat at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. Hitchcock's regiment stood fast during the collapse of the Continental line, fought its way out of British encirclement and then regrouped strongly enough to dampen British ardor for a general assault. Lieutenant Olney found himself on the wrong side of the Delaware River when General George Washington struck back at his pursuers at Trenton on December 25. Colonel Hitchcock and his commander, Brig. Gen. John Cadwalader, had declined to cross the river because they could not secure enough boats or get their cannons over the ice. In their eagerness to get into the fight, both Stephen and his cousin, Jeremiah Olney, argued that the infantry should cross the Delaware without the guns. Neither Cadwalader nor Hitchcock was interested in the opinions of junior officers, however, and Cadwalader's brigade did not make the crossing to Burlington, N.J., until the 27th. The young lieutenant got to see fighting aplenty at Princeton on January 3, 1777, during which he rescued a wounded officer, Colonel-and future president-James Monroe, then returned to the battle line. Later in January, Olney was promoted to captain and made a company commander in Colonel Israel Angell's 2nd Rhode Island Regiment. Although many of his fellow soldiers left at the expiration of their enlistments, Olney soldiered on, enduring the harsh winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge, Pa. Olney was wounded in the arm during the Battle of Springfield, N.J., on June 23, 1780. Support for the Patriot cause was so slim at the time that he wandered from house to house, unable to find anyone willing to care for his wound, even for pay. Finally a weaver and his family took him in and gave him emergency treatment. By January 1781, when Olney was put in command of a company of the Ist Rhode Island Light Infantry, he was highly regarded as a veteran of nine major battles. On the night of October 14, he led his company in the assault on one of two key British fortifications outside Yorktown-which if successful would allow the Continental and French armies to advance their artillery to a range that would make Comwallis' po- sition untenable. Four hundred French grenadiers and light infantry were slated to assault Redoubt No. 9, occupied by 150 British and German troops. At the same time an equal number of Americans, commanded by a French colonel in Continental service, Jean-Joseph de Sourbader, chevalier de Gimat, was to attack Redoubt No. 10, defended by 70 troops of the 71st Regiment of Foot under Major James Campbell. Expressing doubts about American discipline and experience, the second-in-command of French forces tried to convince Maj. Gen. Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, that the critical assault should be made entirely by the French. Lafayette, who had served in Washington's army since 1777, controlled his temper as he replied: "We are young soldiers, and have only one way in these cases. That is to unload our guns and march right in with our bayonets." At 8 p.m., the Americans moved toward Redoubt No. 10 in two columns-one commanded by Gimat, the other by Colonel Alexander Hamilton. Leading Gimat's column were six to eight sappers to cut through the wooden chevaux-de-frise and abattis that lay between them and the square-shaped fortification. Behind them came the "forlorn hope," a small group of volunteer assault troops who would be first through the hole the sappers made. Colonel Gimat and several aides came next, followed by Olney and his Rhode Island troops, who had been selected to hold the breach until the main fighting forces arrived. IMAGE PHOTOGRAPH In a painting by H. Charles McBarron, Colonel Alexander Hamilton's light infantry overruns Redoubt No. 10 on the night of October 14, 1781 -before their French allies seize the adjacent British strongpoint. The assault on Redoubt No. 10 fell into confusion almost from the moment the sappers reached the palisade. British sentries, heard movement, called a challenge and, upon hearing no reply, opened fire, wounding Gimat. Axes at the ready, the sappers charged the wall, expecting to find and expand on damage from a previous artillery barrage. They found none, so they had to begin carving a breach from scratch. While British fire increased, the assault force cheered and charged behind the sappers, only to tumble into shell craters that dotted the ground in front of the fortification. In the darkness, many Americans thought the vanishing bodies in front of them had been shot down, but much to their credit, they pressed on. Still, at that point the sappers were chopping vainly at a solid wall, the regimental commander was out of the fight, and the assault force was under heavy fire. To put it mildly, things were not going well. It was at this point that Captain Olney made a one-man attack on the wall. Finding a place where a hole had been blown in it by an artillery shell, he turned and yelled into the darkness for his company to rally on him. Turning back to the breach, he found himself under bayonet attack by five or six British soldiers. Leaping inside the redoubt-- one source claimed he landed on the soldiers' breakfast table--Olney began to swing his spearlike espontoon fiercely around him. He soon broke the blade of his weapon and suffered slashes to his hands, but continued to party bayonet thrusts with the staff until one plunged into his thigh and another in his abdomen. The point-blank blast of a musket knocked him back, but not before he jabbed his last attacker in the forehead with the remains of his espontoon. At that moment, Olney was rescued in storybook fashion when two of his men, John Strange and Benjamin Bennet, made it through the breach and scattered his assailants with shots from their hastily loaded muskets. The rest of the Continental infantry, including Hamilton's column, rushed in behind them and began clearing the British from the position. The fight lasted 10 minutes and left the Americans in full control of the redoubt before the more methodical French had even begun their assault. That gave Lafayette the immense satisfaction of sending an aide to the French second-in-command announcing the capture of Redoubt No. 10 and politely asking if the French needed assistance in carrying Redoubt No. 9. The commander of the French assault visited Lafayette the next day and informed him that his humor was not appreciated in the least. After methodically waiting for their sappers to cut through the defenses, the French accomplished their mission at a cost of 15 men killed and 77 wounded, killing 18 of the defenders and capturing 73. At Redoubt No. 10, eight Redcoats of the 71 st Foot were killed and 17 captured before the rest ran. Remarkably, none of the suicidal "forlorn hopes" involved in either attack had become casualties, but the Americans lost nine soldiers killed and 31 wounded, the latter including Colonel Gimat and Captain Olney. The capture of the redoubts allowed the allied artillery to enfilade the British defenses, and with the failure of a pre-dawn assault on October 16 by 350 British light infantry under Lt. Col. Robert Abercrombie, Cornwallis' fate was sealed. The struggle for Redoubt No. 10 was still raging when Olney was carried back to safety. The seriousness of his wounds can be judged from the fact that he gave his last orders while holding his intestines to keep them from falling out of the abdominal slash. The siege of Yorktown continued for several more days before Cornwallis asked for terms on the 17th, and Olney's wounds kept him out of the limelight while commendations and congratulations were being passed out thereafter. Lafayette sent Olney a personal note on the 18th, and sent Colonel Gimat a few days later with the offer to retroactively issue an order commending him. Still peeved at the original oversight, which may have been intended by an enemy he had made on the staff, the captain declined. His comment to his commander was: "Let it go, the day is past." The time for major fighting had also passed. Seeing no future as a soldier, Olney resigned his commission in March 1788, at age 27. For a good many years he served on the Rhode Island Legislature and was president of the local town council. When Lafayette visited the United States in 1824, Olney was part of the welcoming party in Providence, R.I. The marquis immediately recognized him-partly thanks to a specially staged play he had just seen, playing up Olney's role in the Yorktown attack-- and the two men had an emotional reunion on the courthouse steps. Stephen Olney died in 1832, at age 77. History may have passed him by, but it has not passed by the kind of man he represented-the junior officers and common soldiers of the American Revolution.

    Olney, Stephen, soldier, born in North Providence, Rhode Island, in October, 1755; died there, 23 November, 1832, entered the Revolutionary army in 1775, participated in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, was in the Jersey retreat, and wounded at . Late in the war he was detached to join , and served with him at Yorktown, where he was active in the capture of a British redoubt , and received several bayonet wounds. He subsequently represented North providence in the legislature for twenty years, besides holding town offices.

    Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 & edited Stanley L. Klos, 1999
    Lovell, Louise Lewis. Israel Angell, Colonel of the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment. [New York]: Knickerbocker Press, 1921.

    By 1774 Stephen Olney had become a private in a chartered military company, called the North-Providence Rangers. In May of 1775 Stephen started the war in Hitchcock's 14th Continentals of 1775 as an ensign, under Captain John Angell and Lieutenant Coggeshall Olney. In January of 1776 he was a lieutenant in Captain Coggeshall Olney's company, with 2nd lieutenant James Bridges, of Hitchcock's 11th Continentals of 1776 . By August 27 1776 Stephen is a lieutenant in Captain Tew's company and by January 1777 he is a lieutenant in Captain Jeremiah Olney's company. Stephen becomes a Captain in the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment in February 1777, and with the combination of the RI regiments into the Rhode Island Regiment in 1781 he was given command of the Light Infantry Company .
    Williams, Catherine R. Biography of Revolutionary Heroes; Containing the Life of Brigadier Gen. William Barton, and Also, of Captain Stephen Olney. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1839.
    (VI) Stephen, son of Captain Joseph Olney, was born October 12, 1755, and undoubtedly passed his life in the town of North Providence, where he died November 23, 1832. He was a farmer and landowner in North Providence, where his great-granddaughter, Miss Mary E. Olney, now resides, and was buried in the family lot on the homestead. He was a soldier of the revolution in the twentieth year of his age, with the rank of lieutenant, and was stationed at Roxbury when the British left Boston. He marched with the army to New York and participated in the battle of Long Island and others in that vicinity, and shared in the retreat through New Jersey. He was promoted to captain, and gained honor as a patriot and soldier. He married, March 30, 1777, in North Providence, Dorcas Smith, born 1753, died on the farm in North Providence, December 13, 1813, aged sixty years, and was buried in the family cemetery.
    Biography of revolutionary heroes, containing the life of Brigadier Gen ... By Catherine Read Williams

    Stephen Olney, the subject of this memoir, was born in the town of North Providence, and Colony, as it was then called, of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, on the 17th of September, 1756, on a farm, which from the first settlement of the State, had been the property of his family, having been purchased by Thomas Olney, a contemporary of Roger Williams, and a joint proprietor in the "Providence Purchase." From this person, Stephen Olney was a decendant in the fifth generation. It is a circumstance worthy of remark, as being almost unparalleled in NewEngland, that one family in regular succession continued to occupy the same spot of ground, to till the same soil, for a period of nearly two hundred years. Although the rage of emigration was not in an earlier period of our history what it is now; yet it has often been remarked in this section of the country, that it was rare that one family tenanted the same place for more than three generations.
    The family of Olneys have been a numerous and scattered one; branches of it are now to be found in the east and west, north and south of our extensive territory; but at the period of the revolutionary war, most of them resided in the vicinity of Providence, and were content to remain where their ancestors had conquered the wilderness and reduced the stubborn soil to a state of cultivation. Captain OIney was, as we observed before, the fifth in succession, who had been content to spend his days and be married and buried in the same place with his fathers.
    The ancestors of Captain Olney were a primitive race, and some of the more remote, of puritanic memory. In Rhode-Island, however, where there was no persecution to keep alive their zeal, gradually the peculiarities of their religion vanished. The real Cameronian spirit could not exist for any length of time without opposition. In Connecticut alone, where the fierceness of their demeanor, and tyranny of their exactions, stirred up a perpetual spirit of revolt and resistance, did it survive for any length of time ? In RhodeIsland, as every one knows perfect freedom in respect to religious opinions and ordinances was proclaimed from the first: Roger Williams himself, a persecuted and a banished man, on account of Tiis opinions, had laid the foundation broad and deep, for religious liberty; and from this cause, probably the spirit of puritanism languished from the time it crossed the borders from the neighboring State, as Trumbull says,
    " They found their zeal when not confined,
    Soon sink below the freezing point."

    We are not to suppose however that the spirit of devotion, the essence of piety, fled with the spirit of puritanism in Rhode-Island, or elsewhere. In peace and rural quiet the virtues of our forefathers had leisure to expand. While no longer subjected to restraints and persecutions that in a manner sanctified them in their eyes, their odious peculiarities vanished.
    ....Many more chapters to this story. See:
  • Change Date: 7 May 2010 at 01:00:00

    Father: Joseph OLNEY b: 12 Dec 1724 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    Mother: Martha HAWKINS b: 8 Dec 1729 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA

    Marriage 1 Dorcas SMITH b: 1753 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    • Married: 30 Mar 1777 in North Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    1. Has Children Candace OLNEY b: 29 Oct 1777 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    2. Has Children Joseph OLNEY b: 13 Oct 1779 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    3. Has No Children Sophia OLNEY b: 12 Mar 1782 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    4. Has Children Alfred OLNEY b: 11 Jun 1784 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    5. Has Children Mary OLNEY b: 4 Feb 1787 in Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    6. Has Children George Washington OLNEY b: 25 Apr 1789 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    7. Has Children John OLNEY b: 11 Oct 1791 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    8. Has Children David Adams OLNEY b: 27 Mar 1798 in , Providence, Rhode Island, USA

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