Your Rice Family Ezine
Generation by Generation  ~  Century by Century


VOL. 1, NO. 14                                      JULY 25, 2008
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Old Family Papers Found by Maine Woman
Southern Family Trees:
Rices Mentioned in Early Florida Records
Rices in Florida Census Records
Research Tips:
Colonial Connecticut Public Records Online
For Root Diggers and Branch Climbers: They Add When They Multiply

 The Abduction of Charles Allen Thorndike Rice 

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Quick Links
for  Curious
Rice Ancestor








(Check all spellings)




Website of John Fox
(Desc. of Thomas
& Marcy Rice
of Virginia)

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1) If you are not a male bearing the Rice surname, find a relative who is and have a DNA test done.

2) Send in the name of your earliest known Rice ancestor, giving at least one date and location, and we will try to match it with those families being researched by other readers.  Email: [email protected]


If your newsletter looks like it is not properly formatted, or is garbled, please let us know!

Address all newsletter correspondence to:
[email protected]
Anyone have old family pictures to share?

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Mary Farrington Rice

Old Family Papers Found by Maine Woman 
Thirty years ago Ruth E. Dow of Nobleboro, Maine found some Rice material among old family papers and forwarded it to your editor. 
Handwritten on an old paper is the following, titled "A List of the Names and Ages of a Family"
Mr. Daniel Rice, born Nov. 24, 1755
Mrs. Lois Rice, born Jan'y 28, 1762
           Their children's names & c.
Elizabeth W. Rice, b. Oct. 8, 1788
Gustavus Rice, b.  June 23, 1790
Caroline Rice, b. Feb'y 23, 1792
Mary Ann Rice, b. Mar. 28, 1794
Daniel Rice Jr., b. June 23, 1796
Octavius N. Rice, b. Nov. 25, 1797 (added
             in other writing is death date of July 19, 1870)
Elmira E. Rice, b. May 4, 1800 (added in
              other writing is death date of Sept. 8, 1869)
Elhanan W. F. Rice, b. Aug. 11, 1802
Harriet T. Rice, b. July 4, 1804
More data was found in an old family Bible.  Here it is:
Lucy Rice, b. Sept. 23, 1826; d. Dec. 9, 1833
Franklin Rice, b. July 20, 1830; d. Aug. 21, 1830
Harriet Rice, b. June 23, 1832; d. Sept. 7, 1832
Mary Ann Rice, b. March 5, 1835; d. Sept. 1, 1845 (also       given as 1835).
George Rice, b. Oct. 3, 1838 
 George Rice married Ruth Elver Farrington (pictured above) Jan. 19th, 1860
 Marion Elva Rice b. Nov. 26th, 1866
 Elhanan W. F. Rice died June 9th, 1851
 John A. Mayhew and Lucy Rice married June 1st, 1854           (Lucy is the widow of Elhanan Rice)
Lucy Mayhew, b. Nov. 8, 1806; d. June 9, 1861
Also included in the material Ruth Dow found is a note that Marion Elva Rice married (John) Herbert Bunce Sept. 23 1890.  He was born in 1867 and a newspaper obituary for him is dated April 24, 1945.  Marion died March 16, 1951.  They lived in Malden, MA and had two children that died in infancy.
According to Andrew H. Ward's 1858 Rice Genealogy, Daniel Rice, a Revolutionary War veteran from Lincoln, MA, married Lois Winchester at Boston Nov. 8, 1787 and lived a short time at Newton, MA.  That source lists his children as Elizabeth (m. Samuel Adams), who moved away; Daniel; Augustus, who went in the Army; Abigail; and, Mary Ann (m. Walter Adams).  Daniel Sr. was a son of Ezekiel Rice (1723-1806), grandson of an Ezekiel Rice born in 1700, great-grandson of Jonathan Rice (1654-1725), and great-great-grandson of immigrant Edmund Rice's son Henry Rice of Sudbury and Framingham, MA.
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Rices Mentioned in Early Florida Records

Some folks don't think of Florida as one of the South's historical states, perhaps because during the last 150 years many of its citizens came from elsewhere.  They were transplants.  It also wasn't one of the original 13 colonies.  Your editor was guilty of some of these assumptions--that is, until I met an experienced Florida genealogist at a nationwide genealogical conference.  She only had to say about 400 words to change my mind!  Even though Rice family members do not play a prominent role in Florida's earliest history, they are mentioned in some Florida records.

The earliest reference is to a Maria Perez Rice, who reportedly was born at St. Augustine, FL in 1601, married Gaspar De Los Reyes and had children Antonia, Jacinta, Bartolome and Juan, all born in St. Augustine.  (Note: It is possible that her maiden name is not Rice and that someone was confused because "Rice" sounds similar to "Reyes".)

John Anderson Rice, born in 1818 in Colleton, SC, died in 1858 near Tampa in Hillsborough Co., FL.  His wife, Elizabeth Ivey, was born ca. 1824 in Thomas, GA and died in 1908 at Jacksonville, FL.  Children Benjamin and George were  born in the early 1840s in Georgia. Children Martha, Rachel (1848), Selena (ca. 1849), Caroline (1853) and Joab/Jacob (1855) were born in Florida.

John Jay Rice (1804-1840), son of Gabriel and Phebe (Garrett)
Rice, Muhlenberg Co., KY, died at Quincy, FL.  He wed Sarah Welsh.

Benjamin F. Rice, born in 1863 to Benjamin and Rachel Rice of Blackville, Barnwell Dist., SC, married Ellen W. Sparkman of Florida and their children--William, Frank, Percy, Rachel, Leland and Volney---were born in Florida between 1885 and 1899.  The 1880 Florida state census shows them living in Dist. 2, Polk Co.

William D. Rice Jr., son of William D. and Martha J. Rice, was born in Florida in 1877.  He and his wife, Cora, had children William and James and lived in the Tampa area.

Arthur Monroe Rice was born in 1880 in Florida to Francis Marion Rice and the former Martha Jane Hall of Eufala, AL and Milton, FL.  He married Betty B. Brehier.  Children William, James, Amelia and Marion were born in Florida.

John Dalton Rice was born ca. 1887 in Florida and died at Jacksonville in 1951.  He married Elizabeth Carter and had a daughter, Christine, b. 1916.

Among Florida's pioneer fruit growers were S. E. Rice of Jupiter and W. B. J. Rice of Linton (now Delray).  They are on a list of 1896-1897 vegetable and fruit growers of Dade Co., which was much bigger in those days.

Oscar Edward Rice (1889-1954) and Mabel Haigler Rice (1890-1966) are buried at Oakdale Cemetery in DeLand, FL.  Also buried there is Howard Hayes Rice (1887-1954), a U. S. Navy veteran.

John B. Rice, who was age 74 when he died in 1929, is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach, FL.

Rices in 1850 Federal Census of Florida

(NOTE:  There are no Rices found in previous census records of Florida, but this does not mean Rices were not living there.  Florida was still a territory when the 1830 and the 1840 census was conducted, but some of its counties were included.  Prior to 1830 it does not appear in the federal census.)
A. J. RICE, born ca. 1822, NH; in US Navy Hospital, Escambia Co.
CATHERINE RICE, 18, & JANE RICE, 20, both born FL, are listed in the Div. 14, Alachua Co.  household of Robert Campbell, 55.
DAVID RICE, born ca. 1810, NC, living at Key West, Monroe Co.
EPHRAIM RICE, born 1828, and wife, Mary, born ca. 1830, living in Div. 3, Washington Co.; both were born GA.
JAMES RICE, born ca. 1823, Ireland; living at Caloosahatchie, Monroe Co.
JOHN A. RICE, Dist. 4, Marion Co., born ca. 1818, SC. Listed with wife, Elizabeth, 26, and children Benjamin, 8, Martha, 6, George, 5, Rachael,2, and Selena, infant.
JOHN J. RICE, 30, born in VA, with wife, Elizabeth, 28, also born in VA; Listed in Div. 8, Leon Co.

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Colonial Connecticut
Public Records
Available Online
Vital Records offices are located in each of the 169 towns in Connecticut.  The vital records registrar in each town is responsible for maintaining a registry of all births, marriages, civil unions and deaths which occur within its town.
The Vital Records Office at the Connecticut Department of Public Health maintains a statewide registry of all births, marriages, civil unions and deaths which have occurred in Connecticut since July 1, 1897.  For vital records prior to that date, contact the town where the vital event occurred.  You can locate addresses in the Connecticut Town Clerks Directory.

Connecticut State Library
For additional information on pre-1897 vital records, you may also contact the Connecticut State Library's History and Genealogy Unit at or by telephone at (860) 757-6580.  At the state library, you will be able to access the Barbour Collection which includes most Connecticut Vital Records to about 1850.
Online Connecticut Vital Records
There's a mixture of the bad and the good when it comes to locating early Connecticut public records online. 
If a site says you can get instant vital records through Intelius, or through by way of the VitalCheck Network, be advised that these are commercial enterprises which will charge more money than you would have to pay to order by mail those same records from a town vital records registrar.
Searchable Colonial Records
There is an excellent online source for some colonial records of what became the State of Connecticut.  It is titled "Colonial Connecticut Records" and has a searchable index.  This site is sponsored by the University of Connecticut.

The university has digitized microfilm copies of 15 volumes of previously published colonial records.  They start with court sessions in the late 1630s and go up to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.   The citation for the originals is: The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, from April 1636 to October 1776 ... transcribed and published, (in accordance with a resolution of the General Assembly). Hartford: Brown & Parsons. 1850-1890. 15 vols.

Location of Primary Source

The original archival materials that served as the sources for the text of the published Public Records of the Colony are housed in the State Archives at the Connecticut State Library. Because there are some differences between the texts of the documents as found in the original manuscripts and the transcriptions of those documents in the published volumes, researchers interested in using primary sources are advised to consult the originals in the State Archives.




They Add When They Multiply

 And That's Why We Are All Related
If you take your family back 14 generations, which would usually be more than 300 years, you have in that 14th generation 16,384 direct ancestors from whom you are equally descended.  If you then add to that your ancestors in the previous 13 generations you have more than 32,400 ancestors.  Try it: 2 parents, four grandparents, and keep doubling the number every generation.
If you keep doing this, you hit one billion ancestors in the 30th generation back, and one trillion in the 40th generation back.  The 50th generation back?  That's the generation in which you have reached one quadrillion ancestors. 
What's amazing is that by the 50th generation we are only back to, on average, about the year 850.
Does something about this sound wacky?  You bet!  The numbers are right, but the "people story" represents a different set of circumstances.
The present population of the world is less than 10 billion people and that's the most it has ever been. So, about the 34th generation you already have more than 17 billion ancestors.  Do we have more ancestors than there are people? How can this be?
Experienced genealogists have probably started sniffing out the answer.  They know that, for instance, they descend from the same person more than once.  In fact, in most little colonial era towns everybody was related to almost everyone else.  The gene pool was small. You might descend from Dr. Comfort Starr, Boston's first surgeon, by more than one of his wives, or from three of his grandchildren.  Your editor does.
Here's how to picture this ancestral numbers game. Visualize a diamond.  You are at the lower point and as you start upward (back in time) tracing your ancestors, the diamond (and number of ancestors) gets wider...until a point.  Then the diamond starts shrinking as it continues upward towards its top point.  Now we are further back in time and there are less people. 
This one diamond cleverly makes two points: 1) As the world's gene pool shrinks, we are more and more descended from fewer people many times over, and 2) This is why we are all related.  We descend from a very small number of people.
Get involved in the Genographic Project and learn more about our very earliest ancestors--those who lived in prehistoric times.  

The Abduction of C. A. Thorndike Rice
(The following story is reprinted from The History of Derby, Vermont, which was authored by Cecile B. Hay and Mildred B. Hay.  Following their account is more information taken from other sources.)
One of our most pleasant childhood memories is of the stories which our grandmother told us. We were fascinated with stories of Negroes trying to get across the line into Canada during the Civil War, tramps, and the coming of the railroad, but of all the stories which she told us, by far the most exciting was how our Great Uncle John Kelley aided in the kidnapping of Charles Allen Thorndike Rice.
We shall try to tell the facts as she told them to us, and as Cousin James Kelley, son of John Kelley, retold the story to our family in 1930. He was then over eighty years old and he was very anxious to have us know the exact facts; therefore, our mother wrote them down and we have her original copy.
This account will differ from the accounts published in the Boston and New York papers and from some local accounts.
The facts about the kidnapping in Boston, Massachusetts, were given us by Mrs. Stewart Holbrook after Stewart Holbrook's death. Stewart Holbrook was a grand nephew of Uncle John Kelley. He was able to obtain all the details about the kidnapping, while Cousin James Kelley told us what happened in Derby.
Quoting from Stewart Holbrook: '`This was one of the most celebrated kidnapping cases in nineteenth century America. This was the Charlie Rice case, and the victim, or subject, was Charles Allen Thorndike Rice, later editor of the North American Review, and at the time of his death, American minister to Russia.
"The kidnapping took place in Nahant, Massachusetts in 1860. Allen was the son of Henry G. Rice of Baltimore and of Mrs. Rice, who was a Bostonian. Her people were very wealthy and lived on Pemberton Square.
"Mr. Rice was a gambler and used his wife's money for that purpose. This marriage was soon broken and a divorce was obtained by Mrs. Rice.  The son was given to Mr. Rice and he put him in a school in Nahant, Massachusetts, and had a Negro servant care for him.
"Mrs. Rice was of German descent. Her maiden name was Thorndike. She was a tall, energetic, strong-minded woman and was passionately fond of this her only child. Her attempts to get possession of her son were further prompted by the character of his father.
"Mr. Rice thought he had the boy so well placed and looked after that it would be impossible for his mother to get in contact with him, but this didn't prove to be the case. Mrs. Rice saw the boy and made plans with him for his escape. She told him that when a man with a red handkerchief called for him at school he was to go with him.
"Now let Stewart Holbrook tell of this encounter as told by Henry Cabot Lodge, who saw the kidnapping with his two ten-year-old eyes, and when he got around to his memoirs, more than fifty years later, he devoted an entire chapter to the affair. In spite of his long public life and his eminent role as an American statesman, Senator Lodge patently considered the Rice case one of the outstanding events in which he had played a part.
"Lodge, as I said, was a witness to the first scene of the drama. '!n the summer of 1860' recalled the senior Senator from Massachusetts, in his old age, 'I was as usual at Nahant and among my playmates was a boy slightly younger than myself named Charles Allen Thorndike Rice. His father, Henry Rice, and his aunts, Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Guild, were all friends of my father and mother. In summer, they lived with their mother, Mrs. Rice, and with the many children of the household with which I habitually played.'
"At this time Lodge did not realize the tense situation surrounding young Charles Rice, but he did know there was something unusual in the family. `Charlie was always accompanied,' he remembered. `by a Negro servant, a powerful man named Jackson, which seemed to me odd, but which, in the easy fashion of childhood, I accepted without question. As a matter of fact, the Negro was armed, and was there to protect the child. He was always with him except in the house and at school.'
"The armed and powerful Jackson was actually guarding Charlie against a possible attempt at abduction by his own mother or her agents. Mrs. Rice had tried to get possession of her son by a writ of habeas corpus. But Chief Justice Bigelow of the Massachusetts Supreme Court had denied the writ in an elaborate opinion in which he gave custody of the child unconditionally to the father. That, of course, should have made an end of it.
"In Nahant, Charles Rice. nine years old, attended a private school kept by a Mr. Fette. The session lasted a couple of hours in the morning.  Lodge, age ten, did not attend this school, but it was his custom to go to the school house and wait outside for his playmates to emerge. He was there waiting on Saturday, which was only three days after Judge Bigelow's decree.  Presently his alert eye noted a  buggy driven rapidly, which passed the school and went on a few rods to the end of the road.  Meanwhile, another buggy had stopped just before reaching the school.  From this conveyance two men got out.  Young Lodge eyed the two men.  One was smooth-faced and dark complexioned.  The other was older and had reddish hair and beard. The two walked up the street and paused at the corner across from the schoolhouse where Lodge still sat, mildly interested.
"Now the first buggy came up: things, began to happen. Out of this buggy leaped a large man, his Dundreary whiskers flying wildly. The two men waiting on the corner rushed to meet him, and all three ran like mad past young Lodge and into the school building. Lodge had little more than time to wonder a bit at these doings when an uproar came from within the building.  In another moment, out the door came the large whiskered fellow, running with Charles Rice in his arms, and the other two men close behind. After them came bedlam, with schoolmaster Fette, a large dog, and all the pupils, shouting, barking, crying.
"The large man put young Rice into the buggy, drew the boot over him, leaped in, and lashed the horse. The other two men mounted their buggy and started.  It was a clean getaway. 'That was the last I saw of Charles Rice for 20 years,' Lodge remarked in his memoir." From this point, as far as what happened to Charles Rice is concerned, will be facts as told by Great Uncle John Kelley and by Cousin Edward Stewart (later Judge Stewart Holbrook's grandfather.)
"Judge Stewart was later part owner of the Newport Express and Standard and wrote many articles concerning this event. He helped Uncle John in many ways, as you will see as the story progresses.
"The first eighteen miles they drove as fast as possible, then more slowly until they reached Stanstead, Quebec.  Mrs. Rice felt that for the time being they would be safe in Canada. Mrs. Rice asked previously that arrangements be made for them to live in a private home, but this was not done and they had to stay at Winns Hotel in Stanstead. While the men with the boy were driving to Stanstead, Mrs. Rice was also on her way there.
"Five days after the kidnapping, then, the abducted child, dressed in girls' clothes and accompanied by his mother and two other women, arrived at Stanstead. The party had driven in a carriage from Boston through Vermont.  The horses were driven so fast that they were no longer fit for driving and were given to our grandfather to use on the farm.
As soon as the kidnapping was discovered "the hue and cry was immediate and sizable" for the Rices and Thorndikes were both well to do.  "Henry Rice, the boy's father, engaged a small army of professional and amateur agents. He used the telegraph. The sheriffs, police and constables throughout New England and New York State were notified to be on the watch."
"Rumors filled the papers. Little Charlie was reported seen simultaneously in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont. In some manner, however, Henry Rice was soon convinced that his son was in or near Stanstead, Quebec.   And to Stanstead Plain now came Mr. Rice's agents, who posed as drummers, drovers and summer visitors. The little village was too warm to suit Mrs. Rice. Fortunately for her, some friends in Boston had advised her, if need should arise for help, to get in touch with Mr. John Kelley, the leading merchant of Derby Center, Vermont.
"Uncle John Kelley made frequent trips to Boston, carrying the produce from this area, selling it in Boston and returning with articles or food stuffs not obtainable here. He made the trip by team over the Boston Post Road. He was also a large dealer in hops, a crop raised on nearly all the farms in the area at that time. Therefore, he knew many businessmen in Boston, friends of the Thorndike family, who advised Mrs. Rice to see Uncle John.
"One friend who advised her to get in touch with Uncle John was a Mr. Dwight, who wrote to Uncle John telling him the whole story and asking him to help Mrs. Rice. Mrs. Rice also got in touch with him and after telling him all that she had been through, she ended by saying, 'After all this, I am not going to let that boy go to Mr. Rice. If he goes, he goes over my dead body. I want you to do the best you can for us.'"
"Uncle John admired her courage and said that he would help her because he felt that she was in the right.
"About this time a five hundred dollar reward was offered to anyone who would deliver the boy, or for any information of his whereabouts that would lead to his recovery. We are fortunate in having one of the original warrants in our possession. Mr. Sheafe at Derby Line was the sheriff at that time.
"It was not possible for Uncle John to have them at his home because it was right in the village and near his store where there would he too much chance of being detected. He made arrangements with Uncle Daniel, his older brother, who lived about a mile and a half south of Derby, right on the northern edge of what was then Salem, to keep Mrs. Rice and her son for a time.
"The next night Uncle Daniel went to Stanstead with an express wagon and team and brought them to his home. This was on a Saturday night and apparently no one knew of this move. But very soon 'the air became full of rumors.' There was a telegraph station at Uncle John's store and a few days later he overheard messages passing between detectives who were on the trail, that Stanstead or Derby was their destination. Strangers were soon seen in town and proved to be detectives. Residents in both Derby and Derby Line were aiding in the search and, I suppose, hoping for the reward. It was getting pretty hot and Uncle John knew that Mrs. Rice and Charles were not safe at Uncle Daniel's. He had been suspected of being the principal person in this affair and he knew that he was being watched
"He wanted to get to Uncle Daniel's without being seen, so he took his team and buggy. which had a leather boot, and got a friend to drive for him. He crawled under the boot and in this way got to Uncle Daniel's. Here he took Mrs. Rice and her son some blankets and food and, with his younger brother, William, took them into the woods and left them in the care of Uncle William, and he returned to Derby.  In the meantime, Mr. Rice had come, and the next day Uncle John's house was besieged with detectives and Mr. Rice was among them. They were sure they were on the right track, but they didn't find the boy.
"The mother and boy were still in the woods, matters were getting desperate, and another move must be made. Where to go they knew not. Uncle John was puzzled and he had no definite plan in mind. Mrs. Rice was never discouraged and her son shared her optimism.

"Uncle John went to the woods where they were hiding and, after discussing plans with Mrs. Rice, Uncle William carried the boy on his shoulder over the rough places and through the low wet land and Mrs. Rice and Uncle John worked their way along as best as they could. They emerged from the woods into the hollow back of the William Hopkinson farm on the road to Brownington, the Old Post Road.  Here they worked their way along to and across the road near the foot of the hill north of the Hopkinsons and on to the top of the hill just south of the Alvin Robbins farm, now owned by Mr. Robillard.
"Uncle John left the party under a butternut tree and went to consult Mr. Robbins about concealing the boy and his mother in his home. At first Mr. Robbins didn't feel that he could do it, but after much persuasion he consented. While Uncle John and Mrs. Rice and her son were making their way through the woods, they heard voices and they hid behind a pile of hemlock bark. The voices proved to be the voices of the detectives going in the direction of Uncle Daniel's; just as they were near the pile of bark, the moon went under a cloud and the escaping party were saved.
"At Mr. Robbins, the boy and his mother were given the northeast room, where one could see half a mile on the road northerly toward the village, so that if any suspicious person were seen coming, they could hide in a hole which had been prepared for them. In the northeast corner of this room an opening had been made about four feet long and two feet wide. There was no cellar under this part of the house, but Mr. Robbins dug a hole deep enough for Mrs. Rice and her son to sit in. Straw was put into the hole to make it more comfortable. The cover and carpet were cut so that they could be lifted at a moment's notice. When anybody called at the house, Mrs. Rice and Charles vanished into the hole and sat there until the visitor had gone. While they were at Mr. Robbins, the detectives began to suspect that they were there and in order to convince them that they were not watching the right house, they (Mr. and Mrs. Robbins) had a party for the hop pickers. Friends were also invited. The whole house was open. This completely deceived the detectives and they left.
"When it was necessary for them to get word of plans to Mrs. Rice, someone in the family would feign sickness and Dr. Carpenter would be called and then he would carry the message either to Mrs. Rice or Uncle John.  Once, in order to throw the detectives off the track, Henry Tinker, a clerk in Uncle John's store, dressed as a woman, started with Dr Carpenter out east. At the farm of A. P. Niles, about a mile and a half from the village, he stopped quickly, put his team in Mr. Niles' barn, and the detectives who were following them never suspected that they had stopped on the way and they drove on to Island Pond. The next morning Dr. Carpenter harnessed his horse, threw pails of cold water over it and then drove as rapidly as possible into Derby village. His horse was steaming and white with lather and again they fooled the detectives.
"Mrs. Rice had been in Derby a month. Although the detectives had all returned to Boston and Mr. Rice with them, they knew that great care must still be taken to conceal them.
"In the meantime, arrangements had been going on to get passage on a vessel to Europe. To this end Mrs. Rice put Uncle John in communication with her friends in Boston. In a few days he received a letter directing him to go to a nearby town where two men would be sent to meet him and make further plans. He met them and all arrangements were made to get the boy and his mother to the Maine coast.
"The next day Dr. Carpenter started out as if on his usual round of calls. He picked up Charles Rice and with him drove across the country to a railroad station, and delivered him to one of Mrs. Rice's Boston friends who had come to take him to Biddeford, Maine.
"In the meantime Uncle John had picked up Mrs. Rice at a nearby town where a neighbor had carried her and she also caught the train for Biddeford just eight hours after her son.  A schooner was waiting for them at Biddeford.
"The schooner sailed south, intercepted an ocean vessel at Hampton Roads, and so they reached England.
"When Mrs. Rice felt it was safe, she wrote many letters to Uncle John and Aunt Melina, also to Mr. and Mrs. Robbins, expressing her deep appreciation for the help which they had given to her.  In these letters she told of their journey to England and thence to Germany, where Charles was educated. He had a tutor, and some time later the tutor and Mrs. Rice were married. The son lived for fifteen years in Europe. He graduated from Oxford and then returned to the United States. He became a journalist and later editor of the North American Review. He was very active in politics and was a very able and distinguished man. In 1888, he was appointed Minister to Russia, but died suddenly in the prime of life.
"As we mentioned in the first part of this article, Uncle John dealt heavily in hops. A few years after he helped Allen Thorndike Rice escape, he had word from the agents in Germany that the German hops crop was a failure due to dry weather, and for him to buy all the hops possible. He did this.  Then they had rain in Germany, the hops came on, and the market was flooded with them. Uncle John lost everything he had in the world except one pair of horses. He was past middle life, with his business gone, with no home, and with no money.
"Mrs. Rice gave him five hundred dollars for his help to her. At this time she had said, 'If at any time and for any reason you ever need anything, I will gladly give you anything I possess for your great help and kindness to me.'
"Close friends of Uncle John (among them Judge Stewart), without his knowledge, wrote to Allen Rice, who was then a very influential and wealthy man, and enclosed letters from his mother, in which she had said, 'If I had a million dollars I could not pay you for what you have done for me. I want you to promise me, on your word of honor, to come to me if you ever get into trouble. I don't care what your trouble may be. I will never refuse to help you if you need help.' These friends asked that $10,000 be put on a deposit of trust, the income to go to Uncle John's support and the principal to revert to Mr. Rice at Uncle John's death. Mr. Rice paid no attention to the appeal, and kept the letters, which were the only remaining evidence of the debt of gratitude which his mother had written of to Uncle John.
One rather interesting phase of the story is that Uncle John started life again as a farmer. He bought the Alvin Robbins' farm, where Mrs. Rice and her son had been hidden for so long, and that is where he died.

The little child, Charles, who in 1860 became the object of a fierce struggle between his parents, was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry G. Rice Jr. His paternal grandfather, Henry Gardner Rice Sr., was born at Brookfield, Mass. Feb. 18, 1784, graduated from Harvard University in 1802, and married Charlotte Boardman of Boston on Nov. 11, 1817. Charlotte was a daughter of William Henderson Boardman, a Boston merchant who made his fortune in trading interests in East India and China.
Henry's parents were Tilly and Eunice (Reed) Rice of Brookfield.  The background of this branch of the Rice family is one of education and prosperity. Tilly Rice, a 1777 graduate of Brown College, was a physician, magistrate and member of the Brookfield firm of "Reed & Rice." Tilly's son, Samuel B. Rice, was an 1816 Harvard graduate. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Dr. John G. Coffin, an 1811 Harvard graduate, and their son, Henry Rice Coffin, was graduated from Harvard in 1830. Another grandson of Tilly Rice, William B. Rice, was an 1843 Harvard graduate; William was a brother to the kidnapped child's father. Tilly's brother, lawyer Merrick Rice, was a 1785 Harvard graduate and his brother, Samuel Rice, a Brookfield representative in the Massachusetts Legislature; a sister, Sally Rice, married Maj. Cheney Reed of the firm of "Reed & Rice."

Tilly Rice was a son of the Tilly Rice (1724-1803) of Brookfield who wed Mary Buckminster there in 1748. His father, Obadiah Rice, was born at Marlborough in 1698, married Esther Merrick in 1722 and settled at Brookfield. Obadiah was a son of Jacob Rice (1660-1746), a grandson of Edward Rice, and a great-grandson of Deacon Edmund Rice, the founder of this large New England branch of the Rice family.
The kidnapped child's aunts, Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Guild, mentioned in the above story as friends of the prominent Henry Cabot Lodge's Boston family, were sisters of Henry Gardner Rice Jr. Elizabeth H. Rice was the wife of Samuel Eliot Guild. Charlotte Boardman Rice was the second wife of Patrick Grant of Boston. Their son, Robert Grant, who was born in 1852, was judge of the Suffolk County, Mass. Probate Court for 30 years and the author of an autobiography titled Four Score, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Co. in 1934.
The little lad who was the center of so much controversy in 1860 carried on in the family tradition, becoming a highly-educated, successful and influential man. Whether or not the ordeal he went through at age nine left upon him any lasting impression or scar has not been recorded for posterity.  The stage for the kidnapping was set after his mother obtained a divorce in Indiana and the father obtained one in Maryland.  When the Massachusetts court denied custody to the mother, the legalities of action taken in three states became intertwined to the point of confusion.

Much is known about the adult life of Charles Allen T. Rice.  He was a brilliant man who numbered Prince Napoleon, Robert Browning and Victor Hugo among his friends.  In addition to his other publishing successes, he became well known as editor of the Reminiscences  of Abraham Lincoln.  He was also a proponent of ballot reform and the first to recommend U. S. adoption of the Australian system of voting.
Persons who are interested in additional details of this Rice kidnapping should read the accounts given in the Boston and other city newspapers in 1860. Biographical data on Charles Allen Thorndike Rice may be found in newspapers of the 1880s, in the North American Review, in "Who's Who" and in a variety of biographical encyclopedias covering well-known people of the 1860's; he is also mentioned in the memoirs of some of his contemporaries.

The New York Times obituary for Charles Allen Thorndike Rice contains additional biographical material.
A follow-up New York Times story gives a different version of the Rice boy's kidnapping.


The Rice Book Project
rice bk pro
BOOK 1: Celebrating Our Diversity
Biographies of dozens of Rice family members from different backgrounds, different decades and different branches of the family; also a directory of Rice Revolutionary War soldiers; 248 pages
BOOK 2: The Immigrants
Lists of immigrants for three centuries; early generations of the Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut branches of the family; chapters on English, Irish, Scottish and German Rice families; 258 pages.
BOOK 3: Connecticut &  Tennessee Rice Lineages
This covers several branches of the Rice family and chronicles in detail descendants of Henry Rice, the pioneer gristmiller in Tennessee; 512 pages.
BOOK 4:  Pennsylvania and Maryland Rice Lineages
This is the book we are now working on.
Order from the Rice Book Project Website.
(The RICE FAMILY EZINE is sponsored by the Rice Family Book Project) 

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