Samuel Hamlin

Buried with his family in Swan Point Cemetery is Samuel Hamlin (1774-1864) a pewterer from Providence, Rhode Island. Hamlin’s significance lies loosely in his ties to the Whitman residence at 88 Benefit Street. Hamlin purchased the house (then 50 Benefit) in 1822 for $2,300 and occupied the north half (the right side) while Whitman’s mother, Anna Power, rented out the other half with her three young daughters. Hamlin served as their landlord through another renumbering of the house (76 Benefit) and bore witness to the Poe/Whitman romance in 1848.

Hamlin’s grave at Swan Point Cemetery

After Anna Power’s death in 1858, Whitman moved to another home with her sister Susan. Hamlin continued ownership of the house until his death in 1864, when his family sold it. It was sold an additional time before it was finally bought by the Episcopal church in the early 1900s, where it remains with them today. At some point, the house was divided into four separate apartments and those units are rented to the public.

The house as it stands today at 88 Benefit Street