William Throop Jr. House // 1805

While much of the downtown area of Bristol features early 19th century wood-frame houses, there are some substantial masonry homes providing a great layering of styles and materials in the neighborhood. This brick Federal style home was built in 1805 for William Throop Jr. (1771-1850), a stonemason and merchant, who had a shop on the DeWolf wharf in Bristol, where many slave ships set sail from. Throop himself was a descendant of William Throope, who built “Throope Place” (previously featured) on the north side of town. We understand that William Jr. likely had connections to the slave traders of Bristol based on his ties to the DeWolf Family, which is compounded by the fact his two daughters Juliana and Jane married Judge James Eppinger of Georgia. Juliana first married Eppinger in 1820, but died in 1859, and her younger sister Jane then married James Eppinger one year later. The Eppingers built a house in Bristol where they would spend time, and often brought enslaved with them to maintain their home. On October 12, 1829, Nancy Gindrat, a 22 year old slave to James and Juliana Throop Eppinger, escaped in Bristol. Eppinger frantically wrote to his father in-law William Throop and others that he would offer a large sum to anyone who could find her, though he never did. It was interesting to learn how inter-connected Rhode Island and Georgia were in the early 19th century, both bonded by the slave trade. The William Throop Jr. House remained in the family for a century until it was converted into a rooming house in the early 20th century, to house workers at the nearby industrial buildings. The home was restored and reverted back to a one-or-two-family residence in the 1970s.

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