A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

“…went a clamming”



“In the afternoon Grandma, Mother and myself went a clamming.” -Mary (June 7, 1857)


unidentified group, unknown location (somewhere in Rhode Island), n.d.


Mary Matilda Dawley was born on January 29th 1841 in North Kingston, R.I. to Christopher Harrington Dawley (3 Aug 1811 – 14 July 1842) & Mary Lawton (17 Jan 1815 – 28 June 1889). After the death of her father in 1842, her and mother Mary, lived with her paternal grandparents, Vincent Dawley (1784 – 14 Aug 1861) & Sarah E. Harrington (1789 – 29 Mar 1871). It is unclear whether this is the Grandmother who went clamming or if it was her maternal grandmother Amey Wilcox Lawton (1 Feb 1789 – 20 Dec 1858).

Mary went on to become a teacher but left her profession when she married Exeter farmer William Allen Reynolds (b. 16 Dec 1847) on November 17th 1869 in East Greenwich. They did not have any children and lived a happy life together on the farm. Mary died on July 10th 1918, William followed on March 24th 1920.

MSS 9001-D: Mary M. Dawley Diary 1856-64

Captain Henry Reynolds Lot, Exeter, R.I.


-Jennifer Galpern,  Special Collections Research Associate



One comment on ““…went a clamming”

  1. Ed Iannuccilli
    8 June 2018

    I wonder if they had a secret spot?

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This entry was posted on 7 June 2018 by in Collection Notes.

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