Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hopestill Potter Dimond (1790-1857)

Portrait from "Charles D'Wolf of Guadaloupe, his ancestors and descendants", 1902.

    Certainly one of the oddest named legislators ever elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly, Hopestill Potter Dimond was a lifelong resident of the Ocean State, a state that was last visited here with our June 2013 write-up on state representative and Central Falls mayor Eastwood Eastwood. A descendant of a family long prominent in the affairs of Bristol, Dimond's surname was also spelled "Diman", "Diamond" and "Diament" by earlier branches of the family. Born in Bristol on November 16, 1790, Hopestill Potter Dimond was the eldest of six children born to Capt. Royal (1768-1820) and Elizabeth Moore Diman. 
   Little information exists on Dimond's youth or education, excepting notice of his marriage to Eliza Nichols Attwood (1797-1888) on April 17, 1815. The couple's forty-two year union would see the births of eight children, who are listed as follows in order of birth: Montgomery (1816-1863), William Frazier (1818-1893), Mary (1820-1822), Hopestill (1823-1853), Charles Wesley (1829-1880), Francis Moore (born 1833), John Nichols (1836-1880) and Elizabeth (1839-1899).
   In 1818 Hopestill P. Dimond was elected to represent Bristol in the Rhode Island General Assembly and served during the 1819-20 session. In addition to his legislative service, Dimond also held the post of inspector at the U.S. Customs House at Bristol for three decades and died in Bristol on October 15, 1857, at age 66. He was survived by his wife and six of his children and was interred at the Juniper Hill Cemetery in Bristol
  Public service continued in the Diman/Dimond family in Francis Moore Dimond (1796-1859), the brother of the man profiled here. Francis M. Dimond served as U.S. Consul in Port-au-Prince Haiti from 1832-1835 and from 1842-49 was U.S. Consul in Veracruz. He was elected as Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island in 1853 and later succeeded to the Governorship upon the resignation of Governor Phillip Allen, serving in that capacity until 1854.

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