Margaret Peckham Briggs
Birth & Death Dates Unknown — Appears in Records Appears From 1746 – 1764
For over 20 years Margaret and John Briggs ran several businesses on their 50-acre farm conveniently located near Adamsville on the road from Fogland Ferry to New Bedford. The Briggs owned a malt house, three stables, and a warehouse that they used for an inn and a store.
The Briggs invested in their businesses by purchasing a “Negro Woman” to help with the labor involved in these many enterprises.
John’s death in May 1763, the same month Margaret delivered their sixth child, was unexpected. They were in debt. Margaret immediately sold her most valuable possessions, her enslaved woman and the woman’s young child. The pair, their names unknown, sold at a premium, but it was not enough. Margaret tried to run the inn herself, going to the town selectmen for a liquor license on several occasions, but by 1764 she decided to sell. As a widow the law allowed Margaret to keep 1/3 of the estate to support herself and her children. She sold the remaining 2/3 to pay her creditors. Margaret and her children moved to Newport to be nearer her family.
Marjory Gomez O’Toole, Executive Director, LCHS