Edward Carrington (1775-1843) was born in New Haven, Connecticut. As a young man, he came to Providence, R.I., where he worked as a clerk and supercargo for local merchants Seth Wheaton, Samuel Butler, and Richard Jackson. He resided in Canton, China from 1802 to 1810, serving as American Consul, acting as an agent for other American merchants, and amassing a considerable fortune by trading on his own behalf. The collection documents his mercantile and shipping activities in China, South America and Europe during 1802-1857. It also documents his other business enterprises in the textile industry in Rhode Island with the Hamlet Mill and Manufacturing Company, 1834-1860 and the Blackstone Canal Company, 1823-1831. The collection also contains the personal papers of Edward Carrington, his son Edward II, and Edward II's wife Candace (Dorr) Carrington.
The French River Textile Company was incorporated first in Rhode Island in 1897 by Frank A. Sayles, Alfred M. Coats, John Simson, and James B. Kirkaldy. Although the mill itself was located in Mechanicville, the business seat was in the Slater Trust Company in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The records reflect manufacturing costs, sales, and finances of a Rhode Island and Connecticut firm manufacturing worsted cloth, silk cloth, cotton cloth, remnants and waste. The mill also sold water-generated electric power to the Putnam Light & Power Company, serving communities in northeast Connecticut.
The Glenlyon Dye Works began as a minor department relegated to operating wherever space could be found or made within the confines of Sayles Bleacheries Plant A at Saylesville. This department began as early as 1876, for the purposes of bleaching and dyeing wool yarn and piece goods. It was not formalized until 1882 when it turned entirely to processing goods for the new Lorraine Manufacturing Company, and the volume of work increased considerably. Later, as Glenlyon Print Works, the plant specialized in printing and finishing fine cotton and silk blend fabrics.
James Brown II (1698-1739) was born in Providence. His father was Elder James Brown (1666-1716), a pastor on the First Baptist Church; his mother was Mary (Harris) Brown. James II established himself early in the mercantile business, trading in rum, molasses, slaves and less controversial wares.
The Lonsdale Water Power Company, an unchartered corporation founded by the firm of Brown & Ives with Edward Carrington and others, was organized in 1825. The company proceeded to buy up estates and water rights along the Blackstone River in the towns of Smithfield and Cumberland, Rhode Island. In 1831, the company began construction of a mill - later called Lonsdale Mill No. 1- and organized around that mill the village they named Lonsdale in Smithfield. Included in this collection are: administrative records, 1834-1924; general accounts, 1831-1944; production records, 1836-1916; correspondence, 1832-1921; miscellany, 1910-45. Especially important are the minute of company meetings, 1834-1906.
Obadiah Brown I (1712-1762) was born in Providence. His father was Elder James Brown (1666-1716), a pastor on the First Baptist Church; his mother was Mary (Harris) Brown. Upon reaching adulthood, Obadiah joined his older brother James Brown II (1698-1739) in the mercantile trade, which included traffic in cocoa, rum, molasses and slaves.
Obadiah M. Brown was born on July 15, 1771,* the only son of Moses (1738-1836) and Anna (Brown) Brown (1744-1773) of Providence. In adulthood he added Moses as a middle name and used the signature Obadiah M. Brown to distinguish himself from his cousin Obadiah Brown, son of Joseph Brown.
The Sayles Bleacheries were the foundation for all the subsequent manufacturing activities of the Sayles family. The profits from this highly successful operation fueled the acquisition of the scores of companies whose records now make up the Sayles Collection. Thus the Sayles Bleacheries were in every sense the “parent” organization of the Sayles empire. The Sayles Bleacheries originated when William F. Sayles, in December 1847, bought at auction the plant of the Pimbly Print Works, lying along the Moshassuck River in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island.