Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Turner family papers (RLC.Ms.573)

Redwood Library and Athenaeum

50 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
Tel: (401) 847-0292
Fax: (401) 841-5680

Scope & content

This collection consists of deeds, accounts, court martial proceedings, and correspondence relating primarily to Dr. William Turner (1757-1837) and his son Commodore Peter Turner (1803-1871). Also included is a deed from Turner’s uncle, Dr. Peter Turner (1751-1822) regarding his property in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and financial accounts regarding various members of the Turner family.

The papers of Dr. William Turner (1757-1837) are comprised of deeds, mortgage deeds, an insurance policy, and documents from a court martial at Fort Wolcott in 1822. Turner’s legal documents concern his land holdings and purchases in Newport, Rhode Island, for both his personal residence and physician’s office. Also found are correspondence and court proceedings from a general court martial held at Fort Wolcott, a small Army fortification on Goat Island in the Newport Harbor, that Turner served as Special Judge Advocate. In this court martial, Turner and other Army representatives decided on the sentences for soldiers charged with desertion and disobedience of orders.

Papers concerning Commodore Peter Turner (1803-1871) include letters he sent and received in regards to his deceased father’s unpaid mortgages and estate in Newport, Rhode Island. They also reference his mother’s interest in the estate and his plans on moving forward to sell the property.