Portsmouth Asylum Cemetery

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West of WEST MAIN ROAD at TEL pole # 161
41 burials
NOTE: The Portsmouth Asylum, the town poor farm. When the institution rules were formulated in 1838, the 11th rule included the provision that "All persons dying at the Assylum (sic), his or her relations or friends may have the liberty of burying them at their own expence (sic); but if at the town's expense, they may be buried at the Assylum or elsewhere at the discretion of the Commissioners" (repr. in John T. Pierce, Sr.'s "Historical Tracts of the Town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island," Portsmouth, 1991, p. 60). No transcription known at this time (1998); the 48 names entered in the database come not from gravestones, but from lists of "Inmates died at the Asylum" 1847-1875 in the "Book of Registry for the Portsmouth Asylum" at RIHS. The institution rules make it clear that some of these people may have been buried elsewhere.
Two people were buried here from outside the poor farm. An additional three names for a period preceding the RIHS records have been entered on the basis of Benjamin Pearce's coffin records (BP); these show inexpensive coffins for names marked "Town House."
In 1975 CETA gave the location as "on Raytheon property on the south side of their buildings," but they did not record the stones. Not found by Ian Kohl 1989.
This cemetery has not been recorded.

ALBRO, Borden 1801c 18JUL1873
ALBRO, Caroline ---- 30DEC185-
ALBRO, Jarvis E. 1792c 11APR1868
ALBRO, Jonathan ---- 11MAY185-
ALBRO, Stephen 1805c 23JUN1875
BARKER, Peleg ---- 18MAR1840
BROOKS, Lewis ---- 19AUG1879
BROWNEL, George H. 1799c 27JUN1868
BROWNELL, Ralph ---- 19JUN1851
BROWNELL, Susannah 1754? 07APR1836
BROWNING, Benjamin 1793c 22FEB1872
BURNS, Thomas 1831c 12MAR1871
CASEY, Miss ---- ---- 12JUN1875
COOK, Elisabeth ---- 05DEC1848
COOK, Harriet 1794c 13OCT1875
COOK, Timothy 1780c 09NOV1860
CORNELL, Ann B. ---- 08JAN1850
DANNA, John 1835c 31MAY1873
DENNIS, Edward ---- 08SEP1847
DENNIS, Gideon 1793c 27SEP1873
EARL, Elizabeth 1767c 12SEP1857
FISH, Hannah 1785c 28APR1860
FISH, Robert 1794c 16SEP1861
GRAY, Job 1786c 02NOV1869
HUDDLESTONE, Elisabeth ---- 24JAN1848
IRISH, Nancy 1775c 17SEP1873
LAWTON, Alice 1788c 16DEC1867
LAWTON, Henrietta 1804c 22OCT1878
LAWTON, John ---- 12DEC1866
MCCURRY, Maria 1779c 23MAY1873
MURPHY, David ---- 02SEP1862
PARKER, Otis 1815c 24AUG1877
ROBINSON, James ---- 09JUL1869
SANFORD, Hannah 1784c 07NOV1877
SHEARMAN, William ---- 04JUN1852
SHERMAN, Phebe ---- 09JAN1841
SHERMAN, Elizabeth 1831c 28MAR1866
SHERMAN, Harriet ---- 20---186-
SHERMAN, Mary A. 1805c 24JUN1870
SHERMAN, Ruth 1791c 16APR1866
SISSON, Nancy 1779c 25MAR1861
SISSON, Richard 1782c 03MAR1866
SLOCUM, Mary 1794c 25JAN1877
TEW, Martha 1807c 09FEB1874

23 April 2005 - Earth Day Cleanup
The Town Farm Lot is pleasantly situated on the rim of Lawton Valley, outside the Raytheon security fence. Overgrown with brush, it's difficult to get a lay of the cemetery. Obstacles abound on all quarters from dead limbs, vines, and narrow stalks of shrubbery. With the Portsmouth Historical Society visit scheduled for 30 April, it seemed a good idea to leverage Earth Day Cleanup activities with the cemetery. Present, were Heather Mckenna, Doug Bonarrigo, Lee Arnold, Don Larson, Kathy Larson, and Bill Saslow. After walking the perimeter, we quickly located the entrance and cut a path to it. We then set to clearing out the dead brush, clearing the stones, and cutting the vines, shrubs, and small dead trees which abounded. Within a few hours, we had about a third of the cemetery cleared. Working through the pouring rain, our goal was achieved to provide a path through the cemetery for visitors. We estimated that another couple of cleanups would be required to clear the rest.

Cemetery Cleanup Crew on Earthday 2005

An Impenetrable mass of vines and brush, the Cemetery cleanup crew created a path on Earthday 2005

Graves are marked with slate or fieldstone head-and-toe

An Impenetrable mass of vines and brush, the Cemetery cleanup crew created a path on Earthday 2005

An Impenetrable mass of vines and brush, the Cemetery cleanup crew created a path on Earthday 2005

Download a writeup on the Town Farm Cemetery

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