Rev. Gregory Dexter

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Gregory Dexter, Reverand

Birthdate: (90)
Birthplace: Olney, Northamptonshire, , England
Death: 1700 (90)
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Place of Burial: Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
Immediate Family:

Son of Gregory Dexter and Isabel Dexter
Husband of Abigail Dexter
Father of Stephen Dexter; James Dexter; Major John Dexter; Abigail Angell and Peleg Dexter
Brother of Isabel Dexter

Occupation: Baptist Minister, Minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Gregory Dexter

Rev. Gregory Dexter, the American ancestor of the branch of this family here under consideration, was born at Olney, Northampton county, England, in 1610. He early went to London, and became a printer and stationer. He was also connected with the Baptist ministry at London, and was the friend and transatlantic correspondent of Roger Williams, who was the founder of the Providence colony. When, in 1643, Roger Williams went to England to procure the first charter for the infant colony, he took with him the manuscript of his dictionary of the Indian language, and, on the voyage, arranged it for being printed; and, in 1643, Mr. Dexter printed the first edition of it at London, a reprint of which now constitutes the first volume of the publications of the Rhode Island Historical Society. On the return of Roger Williams with the charter, in 1644, Mr. Dexter sold out his establishment in London and came with his friend Williams to try his fortunes in the New World. Upon coming to New England he was received into the First Baptist Church, at Providence, of which he subsequently became pastor.

In a few years after his arrival in Providence, Rhode Island, he was chosen town clerk. In 1648 he was chosen a "commissioner" to represent the town in the general assembly, and again in 1650. He was president of the two towns of Providence and Warwick one year, 1653-54. In the subsequent history of the state the name of Mr. Dexter frequently appears as taking part in the civil affairs of the colony. On the death of Rev. William Wickenden, February 13, 1669, Mr. Dexter succeeded him to the pastorate of the Providence church. While in this position amid his other duties he won the name of an effective, able and successful preacher. He was the first accomplished printer that came to the colony, and although he did not pursue the occupation here, he occasionally went to Boston and rendered assistance in that line there. He printed with his own hands the first almanac for the meridian of Rhode Island. Mr. Dexter is referred to by Dr. Stiles as a man who had been well educated, possessed handsome talents, and was a distinguished character in the colony. And Morgan Edwards says of him: "Mr. Dexter, by all accounts, was not only a well bred man but remarkably pious. He was never observed to laugh, seldom to smile, yet he was always a very pleasant, friendly and agreeable man. So earnest was he in his ministry that he could hardly forbear preaching when he came into a house or met with a concourse of people out

of doors." Among his later civil duties, he went to London and secured the charter of Rhode Island. Mr. Dexter married Abigail Fuller, and their children, all born at Providence, were: Stephen, born November 1, 1647 (Mary Arnold); James, born May 6, 1650 (Isabel Arnold); John, born November 6, 1652 (Alice Smith); Abigail, born September 24, 1655 (James Angell, son of Thomas); and Peleg, born in 1658 (name?).

"Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island Comprising Three Generations of Settlers Who Came Before 1690"; by John Osborne Austin; p. 223; The Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc.; Baltimore, Maryland; 1978 (974.5 RI/Genealogy SCGS) (974.5 fA93 NYSL) (RI 38 SR)

   Reverand Dexter was a stationer (printer) and a Baptist minister in London. He came to Rhode Island with Roger Williams and the Rhode Island Charter in 1644, having been a friend and trans-Atlantic correspondent with Roger. He was described as a man who was well-educated, possessed handsome talents, and was a distinguished character of the community. He was remarkably pious - he was never observed to laugh, seldom to smile, but was always a very pleasant, friendly and agreeable man. He became the pastor of the First Baptist Church.
   OCCUPATION: Baptist Minister & Printer
   RELIGION: Baptist

Commissioner 1651-1654. President of the Colony 1653-1654. Deputy 1654-1655

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Rev. Gregory Dexter's Timeline

Olney, Northamptonshire, , England
November 1, 1647
Age 37
Providence, Providence Plantation
May 6, 1650
Age 40
Providence, Providence Co., RI
November 6, 1652
Age 42
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
September 24, 1655
Age 45
Providence, Providence Plantation
Age 48
Providence, Providence Plantation
Age 90
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Age 90
Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
January 13, 1880
Age 90