Isaac Peace Hazard

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Isaac Peace Hazard

Birthplace: South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island, United States
Death: March 20, 1879 (84)
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Place of Burial: South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Rowland Hazard and Mary Hazard (Peace)
Brother of “Shepherd Tom” Hazard; Rowland Gibson Hazard; Elizabeth Gibson Hazard; William Robinson Hazard; Isabella Wakefield Hazard and 3 others

Managed by: Stephanie Chamberlin
Last Updated:

About Isaac Peace Hazard

Isaac Peace Hazard, the oldest son of Roland Hazard and Mary Peace Hazard was born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island in 1794. Roland Senior retired in 1819 and Isaac and his brother, Roland G. Hazard took over the operations of the Peace Dale Mill in 1821. The two brothers ran a highly successful business for 45 years before retiring in 1864 and 1866 and handing over the reigns of the company to John N. Hazard and Roland's oldest son, (Another Roland). The operation of the mills continued under Roland's sons until around 1919.

From: <> Subject: [RIWASHIN-L] SK - 05 - Isaac Peace Hazard Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 15:22:45 EDT

From the book "History of Washington and Kent Counties, Rhode Island" by J.R. Cole, published 1889, New York, W.W. Preston & Company.

Beginning on page 495. [xxx] respresents either notes or the page number.

ISAAC PEACE HAZARD was born October 3d, 1794, in South Kingstown, R.I., at the residence of his grandfather, Thomas [496] Hazard (known as "College Tom") on the southeastern slope of Tower Hill, near where William T. Nichols now lives. He was the oldest of the nine children of Rowland Hazard and Mary Peace, his wife. In 1789, Rowland Hazard had in connection with his cousin, Stephen Ayrault Robinson, established a mercantile business in Charleston, S.C. under the firm name of Hazard & Robinson. As a consequence he spent much of his time in Charleston, though he did not make it his permanent residence. The firm had consignments of merchandise from the North, and in looking after these business connections Mr. Hazard made his headquarters at his father's house in Rhode Island.

It was, however, in Charleston that he met and married his wife, Mary Peace, in 1793, and it is evidence that he still regarded South Kingstown as his home that he brought his bride to his father's house, and there his elder children were born, though the business in Charleston was continued for a number of years. Isaac Peace Hazard was therefore a true South Kingstown boy; he grew to manhood amid surroundings which imbued him with the true Rhode Island spirit. Throughout his long life he took great pride in his native state. He particularly admired that independence in thought and judgment, that rugged individuality which is a most marked feature of Rhode Island character.

He had the advantage of attending the Friend's school at Westtown, near Philadelphia, Penn., an excellent institution, where the students were most carefully instructed in mathematics, and in all the English branches; foreign languages, ancient and modern, were not included in the course of study.

On leaving this school he returned to South Kingstown, and at once began to assist his father in business. This was about 1810 or 1811. Some years previous the business in Charleston had been broken up by heavy losses of vessels taken by French privateers; losses for which the United States government subsequently was paid by France, but for which nothing has ever been paid to the losers. Rowland Hazard and his sons were, however, wise enough not to waste their energies in seeking redress from the government. They set to work to regain by labor the fortune which had been so unjustly taken away. Manufacturing was in its infancy. As early as 1750 there are indications that Thomas Hazard paid hand loom weavers for several kinds of cloth, both linen and woolen, which he had woven and kept for sale in his store, but not till about 1800 is there any intimation [497] of an organized industry. At that time there was a fulling mill at Peace Dale, R.I., and Rowland Hazard bought an interest in it in 1802 and soon after set up a carding machine and a spinning jenny with Joseph Congdon and John Warner Knowles. When Isaac and his brother Rowland returned home from school they found these machines in operation and the manufacturing industry actually begun. Still much of the spinning was done by hand. The rolls of wool were made on the card, they were put up in bundles and taken on horseback to the different families where spinning was done on the large hand wheel. Afterward the yarn was collected, arranged for weaving, and put out again to be woven on hand looms. The attending to this work, involving as it did long hours in the saddle, in all weathers, gave ample occupation to the young men.

Isaac Peace Hazard may thus be said to have grown up with the manufacturing industry in the United States. The year of his birth (1794) witnessed the starting of the first carding machine in this country. This was by Schofield in Massachusetts. He himself actually saw as a boy the starting of the first carding machine in Rhode Island between 1802 and 1804. Subsequently keeping pace with the inventions as they were made, he, with his brother, built up a large flourishing industry at Peace Dale.

It was at Peace Dale that the greater part of his life was spent. He took a most kindly interest in the welfare of all his neighbors there. He was constantly appealed to for advice and assistance, and no one whom he could aid ever applied to him in vain. He possessed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.

He never sought political power or office, but in response to the earnest solicitations of his townsmen he on six occasions represented the town of South Kingstown in the general assembly, vis.: August 28th, 1838, April 17th and August 27th, 1839, April 20 and August 30th, 1842, and April 5th, 1843, there being at that time semi-annual elections for the general assembly in Rhode Island.

He, in connection with his brother, Thomas R. Hazard, of Vaucluse, on the island of Rhode Island, became very much impressed with the necessity of improved and more humane methods in the care of the insane and of the poor. The personal investigations of Thomas R. Hazard and the reports he made brought about a revolution in the state and a very general [498] reform. The two brothers, working together, were largely instrumental in securing the establishment of the Butler Hospital for the Insane, which Cyrus Butler liberally endowed. Rowland G. Hazard also aided in obtaining the necessary funds, so that the three brothers are connected with the founding of that beneficent institution.

From the organization of the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, in 1848, he was the president of the company until he retired in 1864. His brother, Rowland G. Hazard, was the treasurer, but the names of the offices do not indicate with any exactness the duties which each discharged. They divided the conduct of the business between them, working together harmoniously. After his retirement from active business in 1864 he went to live with his sisters in Newport, R.I. He there was loved and honored by a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and as he entered into the decline of life, he appeared a striking example of a beautiful and happy old age.

He was never married, but continued to live in Newport with his sisters until he died on the 28th of March, 1879. He lies buried at Peace Dale, in the Oak Dell Cemetery, among scenes with which he was so familiar, and among the people whose welfare he had so much at heart. His monument bears the following inscription:


He was a man of broad and active benevolence, prompt to denounce injustice and ever ready to befriend all whom he could serve.

Rowland Hazard (1763-1835) was the son of Thomas "College Tom" Hazard (1720-1798) and Elizabeth Robinson of South Kingstown, R.I. He entered a mercantile partnership in 1789 with his first cousin John Robinson Jr. (1767-1831) of Charleston, South Carolina. Peter Ayrault was admitted to the partnership in 1794, which then became known as Hazard, Robinson & Co. By 1796, business was being transacted under the name of Hazard & Ayrault. This partnership was dissolved around 1803. Hazard continued financing merchant voyages for most of his life, often trading with his older brother Thomas "Bedford Tom" Hazard Jr. (1758-1828). His trade was largely along the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean, with Charleston, New York and Rhode Island serving as hubs, and his cargo included everything from salt to spermaceti oil to cheese. Hazard seems to have been a substantial merchant, although not one of the largest of his day. He suffered serious financial setbacks around 1807, when several of his ships were captured by French privateers acting under the Decrees of Berlin and Milan.

In 1802, Hazard began to invest in the textile industry, acquiring a half interest in a South Kingstown fulling mill, and in 1804 a carding machine in the same location. This was the beginning of the Narragansett Cotton Manufacturing Company. After 1810, Hazard's son Isaac P. Hazard came to play an important role in this business. In 1819, Isaac and another son, Rowland G. Hazard, took full control of this company and developed it into the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, which became one of the dominant businesses in southern Rhode Island.

In 1819, Hazard settled in Pleasant Valley, N.Y. as his primary residence, where he resided until his death. He continued to travel frequently to South Kingstown and Charleston for both family and business reasons. He sold his financial interest in the business to his son Isaac in 1821.

Rowland Hazard married Mary Peace (1775-1852) in 1793. The village of Peace Dale was named in her honor. She was the daughter of merchant Isaac Peace and Elizabeth Gibson, who were both originally from Barbados, but settled in Charleston, S.C. Mary was raised in Charleston, and spent a year studying in London as a girl. Her family eventually relocated to Bristol, Pennsylvania, and the Hazards spent a great deal of time there. Mary was in Bristol almost exclusively from 1807 to 1820, helping to care for her aging father until his death. The nine children were also raised in Pennsylvania to a large extent. Mary and Rowland's children were as follows:

Isaac Peace Hazard (1794-1879), bachelor, active in mills.

Thomas Robinson "Shepherd Tom" Hazard (1797-1886), historian, spiritualist. Six children.

Elizabeth Gibson Hazard (1799-1882), spinster.

Rowland Gibson Hazard (1801-1888), two children, active in mills.

William Robinson Hazard (1803-), married, eight children

Joseph Peace Hazard (1807-1892), bachelor, spiritualist.

Isabella Wakefield Hazard (1809-1838), spinster

Mary Peace Hazard (1814-1874), spinster

Anna Hazard (1820-1905), spinster

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Isaac Peace Hazard's Timeline

October 3, 1794
South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island, United States
March 20, 1879
Age 84
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
Oak Dell Cemetery, South Kingstown, Washington County, Rhode Island, United States