Sights ~ John Carter House, Providence

John Carter House
21 Meeting St.
Providence, Rhode Island

An historic (former) home on College Hill, the John Carter House was originally the home and business of John Carter.

John Carter house

Carter moved from Philadelphia, where he had apprenticed with Ben Franklin, to Providence in 1767. He published the Providence Gazette; and Country Journal from then until his death in 1814 - the first year in partnership with Mrs. Sarah Goddard. He built the house in 1772 and called it "Shakespeare's Head" after the bust of Shakespeare he had mounted on a pole in front of the house.

Carter housed his printing press, bookshop and post office in the building along with his family. His brother in law, John Updike, owned the house next door and rented it to a rival printer, sparking repartee and competition that reportedly amused the neighbors (per rootsweb). Carter was the first postmaster of Providence, a position given to him by his former apprenticeship master, Ben Franklin.

He and his wife Amey (nee Crawford) had seven sons and five daughters. They lost two children in infancy and another at age three due to burns from a candle.

Today, Shakespeare's Head houses the offices of the Providence Preservation Society, whose volunteers have planted an authentic Colonial Garden in the back. It's a sight to see, and worth a post in its own right.


To my surprise, Amazon has a book about Carter titled, John Carter of Providence, Rhode Island: July 21, 1745-August 19, 1814.

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