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Category Archives: History

Roger Williams Creates The “Freest Place On Earth”

Should you head out into the storm today think of Roger Williams who spent 14 weeks surviving outdoors in just such conditions — exposed, hungry, and wearing 17th-century boots. Following his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his “new and dangerous opinions,” Roger learned

Crimetown — The Bonded Vault Robbery

From Thugs to Uggs. Poor Hudson Fur Storage. They may well be a squeaky-clean fur storage/Ugg cleaning operation these days, but the popular new podcast series “Crimetown” has shone the spotlight back on the site of the infamous Bonded Vault Robbery. Back in the 70’s,

Queen Boudicca Metal Opera At RISD

(10.29) To get an idea of the space the Celtic warrior queen Boudicca occupies in the British mind stop by the Houses of Parliament in London. That’s Boudicca in her chariot, a 19th-century bronze crafted by a man with the Hogwartsian name of Thomas Thornycroft.

Celebrate What Cheer Day

(10.22) Heads up netops, this is our unique and baffling cultural inheritance, embrace it. But first, what does it all mean? In 1636 Roger Williams was forced to escape the pious nitpickers running the Massachusetts Bay Colony and he headed south. After crossing the Seekonk

‘Wordy Shipmates’ Fans — Meeting Cancelled

[Attn. Meeting cancelled.] Head down to ‘Books & Bourbon’ at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Monday at 6pm to discuss “The Wordy Shipmates” by Sarah Vowell. While this examination of the early Puritans and Separatists — including our own Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson —

Lovecraft’s Providence In New York Times

Today’s Sunday New York Times features a piece in the Travel Section, “How to Find the Spirit of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence,” by writer Noel Rubinton. He has written a useful and comprehensive piece with discussions of the history, architecture, and literary legacy of Lovecraft’s

Happy Fourth Of July

Today’s reading is from “Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution” by Charles Rappleye (brother of WJAR journalist Bill). At long last , the war with Great Britain had become official. Providence celebrated the final breach with an elaborate

Revolutionary War Walking Tours (Self-Guided) — North Burial Ground

Stephen Hopkins was Rhode Island’s speaker of the house, chief justice, governor, and our signer of the Declaration of Independence . . . slacker. While many locals have visited the Hopkins House museum on Benefit Street, his final resting place had always been a little

Happy Flag Day

(6.14) Remember when we were all British? This was our flag. This particular flag can be found in the Royal Charter Museum on the first floor of the Rhode Island Statehouse. The wall text beneath the display states, “Flag from the ship that brought the

Friends Of North Burial Ground

(6.12) The recently formed Friends of the North Burial Ground and Randall Park will be holding their inaugural event at the cemetery on North Main Street this Sunday. The event is free and open to the public and will feature multiple guided tours by Park

R.I. Independence Day — May 4th

Rhode Island independence was declared two months before the other 12 colonies got around to formally breaking ties with King George III. From the New England Historical Society, On May 4, 1776, the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode Island declared its absolute independence

Captain Cook’s Ship Found — Pretty Sure

Almost positive. And the residents of Cooktown must be stoked at the news. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project will formally announce on Wednesday that, “. . . it is 80 to 100 percent sure that the remains of the bark Endeavour are among the

Great Pompeii Project Lecture

(4.7) Archaeology professor Massimo Osanna will deliver a lecture titled “The Great Pompeii Project: New Life for the Dead City,” hosted by the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. Osanna’s lecture will focus on the Great Pompeii Project, an initiative sponsored by the

Lovecraft Birthplace Marker Unveiling

(3.15) Lovecraft devotees with be meeting Tuesday at 5pm for the unveiling of a birthplace marker created by artist Gage Prentiss. Organized by the proprietors of the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council — check out their weird emporium in the Arcade — today’s event should

Roger Williams Letter At RWNM

(3.17) Head over to the Roger Williams National Memorial for the third of four Throwback Thursdays. The RWNM has been coordinating with the Rhode Island Historical Society to display and explain the original letters of Roger Williams. And the letter this week is a gonna

Mme. Sissieretta Jones

Acclaimed 19th century opera singer Sissieretta Jones, née Joyner, moved with her family to Providence at the age of 8. She lived here on Weaton Street from 1876 until her death in 1933, although it is clear she was traveling the world for much of