Historical and Educational Information
United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island

Benjamin Cowell

Benjamin Cowell

Born: 9 Dec 1781 in Wrentham, MA
Death: 6 May 1860 in Providence, RI

Education: Brown University, Providence, RI - 1803

Federal Judicial Service:
Clerk of US Circuit and Federal Courts for the District of Rhode Island - 1818-1835

Professional Career:
Pension Lawyer - Providence, RI
Collector of Customs for the Port of Providence - appointed by Pres. James K. Polk 24 Jan 1848
Chief Justice Rhode Island Court of Common Pleas


Author of "Spirit of '76 in Rhode Island: Sketches of the Efforts of the Government and People in the War of the Revolution" - 1850

Judge Cowell devoted much of his time in his later years to preparing abd substantiating pension claims, which required extensive research and examination of old muster rolls, marriage records,Bibles and gravestones, and he accumulated an amount of informationconcerning the revolutionary history of the State of Rhode Island, greater probably than that of any man of his time. A small part of this store he incor[porated in his book, such is his reputation for accuracy, that the presence of a name on one of his lists of muster rolls is sufficient to substantiate the claim of a descendant to membership in any of the patriotic societies.