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Moses Rice (1694 - 1755)

Capt. Moses Rice
Born in Sudbury, Massachusettsmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 16 Nov 1719 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Charlemont, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 1,104 times.



Descendant of Deacon Edmund Rice (1594-1663), an early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first of his line to come to America in 1639.
This profile is part of the Rice Name Study.

Moses Rice, 27 Oct 1694 to 11 Jun 1755.


Moses was born on October 27, 1694 at Sudbury, Massachusetts, a son of John Rice and Tabitha Stone.[1][2]

Marriage and Children

Moses married on Nov 16, 1719 at Sudbury, Massachusetts, to Sarah King (p 228).[1] Their eldest son was born at Sudbury, and all the others at Worcester.[2]

Children of Moses and Sarah:[2]

  1. Samuel Rice, b 1720
  2. Abigail Rice, b 1722/3
  3. Aaron Rice, b 1724/5
  4. Dinah Rice, b 1726/7
  5. Sylvanus Rice, b 1728/9
  6. Tamar Rice, b 1732
  7. Artemas Rice, b 1734

Property and Positions

Moses and Sarah, along with Sarah's brothers, Ezra and Peter King, removed from Sudbury to Worcester about 1722. About 1742, Moses removed to Rutland. On April 23, 1743, he purchased 2, 200 acres in the area which later formed Charlmont, Massachusetts; this became his final home.[2]

Moses served garrison duty at Rutland, in Captain Samuel Wright's company with others from Worcester. Moses also commanded a cavalry company while he lived at Worcester. While at Charlemont, he served as "the first town clerk" (the town was incorporated after his death).[2]

Death and Legacy

On June 11, 1755 at Charlemont, Massachusetts, Moses was farming in his field, when Native Americans attacked and killed him. His eight-year-old grandson Asa Rice was captured and taken to Canada.[2]

Wife Sarah died about 1788 at the home of their son, Aaron Rice.[2]

Phineas Arms was killed by Indians, along with Charlemont's first settler, Capt Moses Rice, during an attack on the small settlement of Charlemont. The story of the attack and Phineas' death is well recounted on Moses' memorial here.

Moses Rice was born October 27th, 1694 in Sudbury, Massachusetts, a son of John and Tabitha Stone Rice. He married November 16th 1719 to Sarah Rice/King, daughter of Samuel Rice/King and Abigail Clapp. Sarah had been orphaned in 1713 when both of her parents died and Moses' father John Rice was made guardian of Sarah and her minor siblings. After her marriage to Moses and after the death of his father in 1719, Moses was named guardian of his wife's younger siblings. He and Sarah King resided by 1722 at Worcester, Worcester Co, MA, opening a public house on the site of one afterwards kept by Capt. Ephraim Mower, and on which was subsequently erected the "United States Hotel." Moses was in the military in 1724 at Rutland under the command of Capt. Samuel Wright of Rutland on garrison duty with others from Worcester. He commanded a company of cavalry while he resided at Worcester. He and Sarah were the parents of seven children: Samuel, Abigail, Aaron, Dinah, Sylvanus, Tamar, and Artemas Rice. In 1743, Moses was the first settler of a new plantation called Charlemont having purchased 2200 acres there. The location was among the furthest out in the wilderness from the established towns of Massachusetts. At the time, the nearest town was Deerfield, 22 miles away. In August of 1746, the Rices were warned that hostile Indians were approaching from the north. They fled to Deerfield for safety. Unfortunately, their home, crops, tools and everything they left behind were destroyed by the Indians. Three years later, the family returned and settled permanently. By 1752, there were about a dozen families in Charlemont. Because Charlemont was a frontier settlement and vulnerable to attack, a series of fortifications and blockade houses were built for protection. They were not manned as heavily as they should have been according to several petitions made to the General Court. As the French and Indians continued to make attacks on the English settlements, the most outlying ones such as Charlemont were most at risk of attack. In June of 1755, Moses and others were working in a meadow in the upper part of Charlemont near Rice's fort. A small group of Algonquin Indians were lying in wait, and attacked and ambushed the party. Captain Moses Rice was shot in the thigh, was severely wounded, and carried off into the woods where he was tomahawked and scalped. A young soldier, Phineas Arms who had been pacing the field with his musket and acting as sentinel was shot and killed outright. Titus King, a relative, and Moses' grandson 9-year old Asa Rice, who was riding a horse but was thrown off when the horse was spooked by gunfire, were both captured by the Indians and taken to Canada. Asa Rice was ransomed six years later and returned to Charlemont. King was eventually sent to France, then to England, and from there returned to his native town of Northampton. Moses' youngest son, 20-year old Artemas Rice escaped after a hot pursuit and was able to make it to nearby Taylor's Fort. Later that day, Moses was found barely still alive. He was brought to his son's house but died later that evening. Moses had previously written and collected a great amount of historical matter, comprising an account of many interesting events of which he had been a witness. Unfortunately, his manuscripts were destroyed by fire during one of the Indian raids. Over 100 years later, in 1871, a great-great-grandson of Moses Rice, Orlando B. Potter of New York, who by his industry and enterprise had become a millionaire, honored the memory of his ancestor by erecting a beautiful granite monument to mark his grave. In digging for the foundation of the shaft the remains of the slain men were found in a remarkable state of preservation. The skull of Rice showed the marks of the Indian tomahawk, and the fatal bullet fell from the bones of Phineas Arms Arms as they were being examined. This bullet has been preserved at the Deerfield Museum. Moses's wife Sarah continued to live on the Rice homestead with her son Aaron's family where she died in 1788 and was buried near her husband. Aaron and his wife Freedom French Rice are also buried here.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sudbury (MA: Town), Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts, to the year 1850. Boston: New-England Historic Genealogical Society, accessed 4 April 2016, Pages 123, 228.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Crane, Ellery Bicknell, editor, 1907 Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal ... New York: The Lewis publishing company, accessed 4 April 2016, Page 302.
  3. Rice, Cynthia, Find A Grave: Memorial #54249204, Capt. Moses Rice
  • Find a Grave, memorial page for Capt Moses Rice (27 Oct 1694–11 Jun 1755), Find A Grave: Memorial #54249204, citing Moses Rice Family Cemetery, Charlemont, Franklin County, Massachusetts, USA .

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Comments: 2

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I don't understand why Sarah (King) Rice is connected to Thomas and Elizabeth (Clap) Rice as though they were her parents. This profile contains text from a findagrave memorial that states that Sarah was the daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Clapp) Rice. Tamar (Rice) Wells, the daughter of Moses Rice, is my 5x great grandmother. I spent two hours on Ancestry trying to find her correct grandparents, using both Elizabeth and Abigail Clapp as well as Thomas and Samuel Rice with their respective birthdates. I couldn't find any proof of Sarah (King) Rice's parents but several private family trees had posted unsourced information about her lineage. The History of the Town of Waitsfield only mentions Moses as Tamar's father, though I found proof that he married SOMEONE named Sarah King. Ideas?
posted by V (Eddy) Combs
Please see WikiTree policy on copying text also for background on this policy

For now, have surrounded the FindaGrave text with blockquote tags, just to clarify the author ... but this important ancestor deserves his own WikiTree biography.


posted by Cynthia (Billups) B