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Sarah, known as Sally, probably grew up in her father's house, captured in a ca 1882 photograph in the Albert Holbrook collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society. The house was already nearly 90 years old when Uriah bought it in 1793. The family supposedly had been there as tenants as early as when Moses Brown bought it in 1784.(1) Sally's brother Nicholas, a sea captain and privateer during the War of 1812, bought it from his father in 1807 with the provision that Uriah and Lucy could live there for the rest of their lives, known as a "life lease." Undoubtedly Sally was one of an extended Hopkins family living in the house when she married in 1812.
Uriah Hopkins house, Providence, RI
(drawing by Doug Sinclair, based on a photograph at the Rhode Island Historical Society)
Sally and Abel were married by Rev. Stephen Gano, minister of the First Baptist Church (which was also the first Baptist church in the United States, founded by Roger Williams). Neither the Holbrooks nor the Hopkins appear among the members of the church, but they may have attended services there.
This is a somewhat disproportionate but romantic early engraving of the First Baptist Church, one of the most magnificent meeting-house style churches in the country. Stephen Gano was the minister here when he married Abel and Sally, making it very likely that the ceremony was in this building.
The Providence city directory for 1824 places Mrs. Sally Holbrook on Sexton Street in Providence, showing that she and the children moved to her father's house after Abel died. Her death notice in The Rhode Island American of 14 January says her funeral would be at her father's house. She was buried in a plot next to Abel a short walk away. There may never have been a marker at the site until later in the 1800s. The monument there now commemorates Abel and Sarah and their son and his wife, Albert and Abby (Angell). It also gives the paternal ancestral lines of the Holbrooks and the Angells. This leaves little doubt that the stone was commissioned by Albert Holbrook, an avid genealogist.
The Holbrook-Angell memorial,
photos by © Doug Sinclair 2004
children of Sarah Smith Hopkins and Abel Holbrook (from the Albert Holbrook manuscript):
i. Albert, b. 5 February 1813
ii. Harriet Smith, b. 23 June 1815
iii. Charles, b. 21 July 1816, d. 9 October 1818
iv. Charles William, b. 6 January 1819
vital records sources: Sarah's birth, marriage and death dates are found in Nicholas Hopkins, Providence Privateer, by Albert Holbrook, Sarah's son. Her marriage is in vol. 5, p. 309 of Alphabetical Index of the Births, Marriages and Deaths Recorded in Providence, Rhode Island and it is in vol. 7 of James N. Arnold's Vital records of Rhode Island 1636-1850...." which has Rev. Gano's private record of marriages he performed. Her death was reported in the Providence Gazette, among other local papers.
1. The Providence Directory... (1824), p. 37.
all text and photographs © 1998-2005 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted