The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 1742, Rhode Island

A case of rape is brought before the Rhode Island court. The incident allegedly happened on December 23, 1742, when a 39 year-old woman, Comfort Dennis Taylor, traveled between Portsmouth and Bristol on a ferry navigated by a slave named Cuff.
Taylor knew how a woman who had been raped should act, and she comported herself accordingly: she screamed for help in order to demonstrate that she had resisted her attacker; she quickly reported the attack; and she had bruises to show from her ordeal.
In Rhode Island (but not elsewhere in New England) courts could rely on circumstantial evidence if there were no eyewitnesses. A second example concerns Rhode Island's laws about rape. Colonies did not have laws about attempted rape, so Taylor's accusation of Cuff fell into a grey area. But in the midst of her legal struggles to get redress in any forum, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a law in August 1743 that pertained to attempted rape by a black man. The law made attempted rape by a black man punishable by branding, whipping, and transportation. This law, and others like it in colonial America, racialized laws about attempted rape by assuming that any advance by a black man toward a white woman would be unwanted, and thus the man was automatically guilty of rape

December 22, 1742- A son, Barthrum, is born to James Round & Susannah Seamans in Scituate, Providence, Rhode Island.
 Joseph Brownell marries Rebecca Tripp, daughter of Abiel Tripp & Elinor Waite, and George Sisson, son of James Sisson & Deborah Cook, marries Abigail Cook in Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island.

(George Sisson is my first cousin 9 times removed. Our common ancestors are George Sisson & Sarah F. Lawton.
Barthrum Round is my second cousin 7 times removed. Our common ancestors are Thomas Seamans & Susannah Salisbury and William Wood & Susannah Beckwith.
Rebecca Tripp is my second cousin 9 times removed. Our common ancestors are William Hall & Mary Thomas.)
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