Tag: Famous RI Families

Robert “Rocky” Kempenaar II

Robert “Rocky” Kempenaar II is a highly successful businessman in the field of commercial real estate and development specializing in the hospitality (hotels) segment of the industry throughout Middletown, Portsmouth, and Newport, as well as in other New England states. In addition to his proven busi-ness acumen, Mr. Kempenaar is a pillar of the Aquidneck

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Catharine Littlefield Greene

Catharine Littlefield Greene (1755-1814) was the vivacious, free-spirited, and uninhibited wife of General Nathanael Greene, but by the standards of her time, she was so much more. Born on Block Island, the daughter of John Littlefield, a colonial legislator, and Phebe Ray, she moved to Warwick at age ten after her mother’s death. Here, she

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Ann Smith Franklin

James Franklin (1697-1735) was the first of ten children born to Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger of Boston. He learned the printing trade in England and then returned to America, where in 1721, he began publication of the controversial and independent New England Courant, a newspaper disrespectful of civil and ecclesiastical policies. Young Benjamin Franklin–child

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Thomas F. Gilbane

Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company. The Irish potato famine of the1840’s sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget

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William J. Gilbane

Humble origins have been the hallmark of many American and Rhode Island success stories. Not many can match the saga of the Gilbane Brothers and the establishment of the multinational Gilbane Building Company. The Irish potato famine of the1840’s sent myriads of Hibernian refugees to North America. And so it was with Thomas and Bridget

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John Howland

Without hyperbole, John Howland can well be called “the father of free public education in Rhode Island.” He was born in Newport on October 31, 1757, the fourth of eight children in the family of Joseph and Sarah (Barber) Howland. He was the namesake and fifth-generation descendant of a Mayflower passenger who had come to

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John Brown Herreshoff

Herreshoff, John Brown, 1841-1915 John Brown Herreshoff was the Bristol-born elder brother and indispensable associate of Hall of Famer Nat Herreshoff. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which built seven America’s Cup defenders from 1893 through 1934, was founded in 1878 by “JB” and Nat Herreshoff. This firm operated under JB’s direction for thirty-seven years. JB lost

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Gov. George Herbert Utter

George Utter was a U.S. Representative and the 49th Governor of Rhode Island. He served as an aide-de-camp to Governor Augustus Bourn from 1883 to 1885, following which he won election as a state Representative, serving for four years as Speaker for a time. He was Secretary of State from 1891 to 1894 and won

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Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy

Patrick Joseph Kennedy II was born in Brighton, Massachusetts on July 14, 1967, the son of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Joan Bennett Kennedy. After graduation from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1986, he began a quarter-century of residence in Rhode Island bringing with him both the benefits and the burdens of the Kennedy

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Louisa Sharpe Metcalf

Jesse Metcalf and his wife Louisa Sharpe Metcalf were the dynamic duo of Rhode Island philanthropy in the early 20th century. Jesse was the son and namesake of the founder of Providence’s Wanskuck Mills, one of America’s largest woolen manufacturers, and his mother, Helen, a Hall of Fame inductee, co-founded the Rhode Island School of

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Senator Philip Allen

Allen, Philip, 1785-1865 Senator Philip Allen (1785-1865) of Providence was a merchant, a textile magnate, a reform governor (1851-53), and a one-term United States Senator (1853-1859). The brother of Zachariah Allen, noted inventor and industrialist, and the uncle of Thomas Wilson Dorr, Allen was also prominent in banking and insurance. A graduate of Brown University

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James Newall Arnold

Arnold, James N. (James Newell), 1844-1927 James N. Arnold (1844-1927) whose contributions to the study of Rhode Island history are as fresh and useful today as they were when first transcribed, dealt in data of family life: official town documents and records; newspaper accounts; birth, marriage, and death records in church archives; and history on

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General Francis Vinton Greene

Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton), 1850-1921 Francis Vinton Greene, son of General George Sears Greene and Martha Dana, was born in Providence on June 27, 1850. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1866, and graduated first in his class in 1870. He married Belle Eugenie Chevallie in 1879 and they had six children. He

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Henry & Henry Fredrick Lippitt

Henry Lippitt was a native Rhode Islander who died in 1891, after becoming one of the state’s industrial and financial leaders of his time, serving two terms as governor. Henry F. Lippitt, Henry’s son, died in 1933, after following in his father’s footsteps as an industrialist, a statesman, and a United States Senator. A renowned

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Helen Metcalf Danforth

The late Helen Metcalf Danforth, 1887-1984, formerly of Providence, served as President of the Corporation of the Rhode Island School of Design from 1931-1947. She also served as a member of the RISD education committee until 1965, when she was elected Chairman Emeratia. During her term of office she is credited with guiding RISD from

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Thomas Robinson Hazard

Thomas Robinson Hazard was a South Kingstown manufacturer, agriculturalist, author and social reformer who embodied the egalitarian spirit of the pre–Civil War age of reform. Affectionately called “Shepherd Tom” because of his prize sheep herd, Hazard, born on January 3, 1797, was a seventh-generation descendant of Thomas Hazard, the progenitor of the famous Hazard clan

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Joseph Davol

Joseph Davol, descendant of the William Davol who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640, was the son of Joseph Davol and Mary (Sanders) Davol. He was born in Warren in 1837, but the exact date of his birth is unknown. After early schooling in Warren, Joseph moved with his parents to Brooklyn, New

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Caroline Hazard

Caroline Hazard, educator, philanthropist, artist, and author was born in Peace Dale, Rhode Island, on June 10, 1856. She was the second of five children of industrialist Rowland Hazard II and Margaret A. (Rood) Hazard of Peace Dale. Caroline grew up with all the privileges her prominent family could afford – private tutors, European vacations,

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John Nicholas Brown

John Nicholas Brown, 1900-1979, was a former assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, senior fellow at Brown University and a director of the Smithsonian Institution. He directed the search and recovery of the works of art stolen by the Nazis for which he was decorated by the French and Belgian governments.

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Governor Samuel Cranston

Samuel Cranston (1659-1727) was governor of Rhode Island for almost twenty-nine years, from 1698 to 1727, a tenure not only longer than any other Rhode Island governor but also exceeding the tenure of any other chief executive of an American colony or state. Cranston was the son of John Cranston, who was also a Rhode

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Wilkins Updike

Wilkins Updike, a member of the noted Updike family of North Kingstown, was the youngest of eleven children of Lodowick and Abigail Updike, and he was the father of twelve. He was born on January 8, 1784, to a paternal line originating in Prussia and including Richard Smith, the first white settler in the Narragansett

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Governors Elisha & Elisha Jr. Dyer

Dyer, Elisha, 1811-1890 Governor Elisha Dyer (1811-1890) and Governor Elisher Dyer, Jr. (1839-1909) traced their illustrious ancestry to William and Mary Dyer of Boston who settled Portsmouth in 1638 as exiled disciples of Anne Hutchinson. They eventually embraced Quakerism, and Mary repeatedly returned to Boston to preach the new doctrine in defiance of the Puritan

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Daniel Berkeley Updike

Daniel B. Updike, book designer, and printer, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on Feb. 24, 1860. He was the son of Caesar Updike, a lawyer and state representative, and Elizabeth Bigelow Adams. He was an only child born into an old, well-connected New England family. He was a descendant of Richard Smith, one of

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Commodore Esek Hopkins

Esek Hopkins (1718-1802) was one of nine children born in Scituate to farmers William Hopkins Jr. and Ruth Wilkinson. His older brother and patron was Governor and Signer Stephen Hopkins. Upon his father’s death, Esek went to sea at the age of twenty and eventually served on several merchant vessels. As a sailor, he rose

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James Franklin

James Franklin (1697-1735) was the first of ten children born to Josiah Franklin and Abiah Folger of Boston. He learned the printing trade in England and then returned to America, where in 1721, he began publication of the controversial and independent New England Courant, a newspaper disrespectful of civil and ecclesiastical policies. Young Benjamin Franklin–child

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Catherine R. (Arnold) Williams

In early nineteenth-century Rhode Island, a woman’s role was sharply circumscribed by tradition. A woman—even one of high social station—was thought of mainly as a wife and a mother. Those who ventured beyond the home (religious nuns excepted) might find work from the 1830s onward as a teacher in a primary school, as a school

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Rev. Edward Everett Hale

Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909 Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), noted author, social and economic reformer, and Unitarian minister was born in Boston. His father was a nephew of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake Edward Everett was a noted orator, U.S. secretary of state, U. S. senator and congressman, governor

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John Carter Brown

Born in 1797, the youngest of the three surviving children of Nicholas Brown II and Ann Carter, daughter of John Carter, the noted Providence printer, John Carter Brown was raised in a family tradition of public leadership and philanthropy. While at Brown University, he joined an undergraduate society to provide needy students with free books.

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John H. Chafee

Born in Providence, John Hubbard Chafee became one of the most successful governors of Rhode Island. Promoted to the rank of second marine lieutenant during the Second World War, he fought bravely in the battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa. Following the war, he received his B.A. from Yale University and was awarded a law degree

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Sarah Updike Goddard

There are certain ingredients necessary to create an independent, self-governing, stable commonwealth. A thriving economy always helps. Strong, healthy community institutions like religious congregations and schools and colleges help, as do economic engines like banks and insurance societies. But a vital key to unlocking the participation of the public is the role of the press.

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John Russell Bartlett

The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame has developed a tradition of listing its inductees by the title of their highest public office or by the title “Dr.” if they have earned that distinction in their chosen field of endeavor. John Russell Bartlett’s title, though prestigious, only begins to embrace his many notable achievements. Clearly,

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Jabez Gorham

After an apprenticeship to Nehemiah Dodge, Jabez Gorham became the foremost Rhode Island producer of jewelry and silverware. While in his twenties, Gorham established a shop at North Main and Steeple Streets, the first of several buildings that formed his original factory complex. By the end of the century, the company he founded was a

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James C. Bucklin

Records say that Providence architect James C. Bucklin was a native of Pawtucket, but in view of his family’s Rehoboth origins, the place of his birth on July 26, 1801, was probably on the east side of the Blackstone, an area not acquired by Rhode Island until 1862. His parents were James and Lorania (Pearce)

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Judah Touro

Judah Touro, 1775-1854, was a Newport philanthropist who made many contributions to his native city, many of them after he became a citizen of New Orleans. He played a major role in the erection of Bunker Hill Monument with considerable financial aide. Mr. Touro gifted Touro Park to the city of Newport and died in

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John Townsend

John Townsend (1733-1809) was one of at least nineteen family members in an extended three-generation Quaker family of Townsends and Goddards who crafted the famed Newport style of American furniture from 1740 to 1840. Newport was the destination of many cargoes of fine mahogany woods from Honduras and Santo Domingo. Wealth created by Caribbean shipping

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George Washington Greene

Greene, George Washington, 1811-1883 George Washington Greene, prominent educator and author, was born in East Greenwich and was the grandson of Nathanael Greene, the great Revolutionary War general. As a young man, Greene traveled extensively in Europe gaining proficiency in the Italian and French languages. His first wife was Italian and he served as U.S.

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Dr. Ramon Guiteras

Dr. Ramon Guiteras, founder of the American Urological Association, surgeon, statesman, and sportsman, was the most prominent Rhode Islander of Latin American heritage at the turn of the 20th century. He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, on August 17, 1858, to Ramon and Elizabeth Manchester (Wardwell) Guiteras. His grandfather sailed from Spain to Cuba,

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Reverend William Ellery Channing

Reverend William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842) was born in Newport, a grandson of William Ellery, a Rhode Island signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also raised in Newport prior to graduating from Harvard in 1798. Thereafter he often visited Rhode Island, but he made his career in Boston

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David Patten

David Patten, 1888-1975, former managing-editor of The Providence Journal-Bulletin, was a Massachusetts native who spent school vacations and several winters at his grandfather’s 260-acre farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island. His career in Providence newspapers as a reporter and editor lasted 35 years. He entertained thousands with his stories of old-time Rhode Island, especially those

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Burton L. “Buster” Bonoff

Burton “Buster” Bonoff of Phoenix, Arizona and West Warwick was a legendary entertainment entrepreneur who founded the famed Warwick Musical Theatre (WMT), in Warwick, R.I. in 1955. He also served as its general manager and as a promoter of major entertainment talent in Rhode Island and elsewhere for over forty years. Nationally prominent in his

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Frances Harriet (Whipple) Green McDougall

“A Rhode Island Original” is a description used by Sarah O’Dowd to title her biography of Frances Whipple. It aptly describes one of Rhode Island’s most significant mid-nineteenth-century writers and reformers. Frances was born in Smithfield in September 1805, but the exact date is unknown. She was the eldest of the four children of George

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Reverend John Byron Diman

Armed with his religion and dedication to “the spirit of social service,” Rev. John Byron Diman founded St. George’s Episcopal boarding school. He continued establishing two other education hubs — a vocational school in Fall River for high school “dropouts” and Portsmouth Priory School. Diman came from a line of prestigious Rhode Islanders — his

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Mary C. Wheeler

Mary Colman Wheeler was an educational innovator, a visionary, an artist, and an activist for human rights. She was also the founder of the Mary C. Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, on May 15, 1846, to Abiel Heywood Wheeler and Harriet Lincoln, she was the youngest of five children. Concord was,

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Commodore Matthew Cabraith Perry

Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry was the Newport – born son of Sarah Wallace (nee Alexander) Perry, a native of Ireland’s County Down, and mariner Christopher Perry of South Kingstown, who met Sarah when he was confined to a British internment camp in Ireland as a Revolutionary War prisoner. After the conflict, Perry sailed back to

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Halsey C. Herreshoff

Halsey C. Herreshoff of Bristol, is an internationally renowned yachtsman, acclaimed America’s Cup competitor, and successful Naval Architect. He is the founder and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum, which includes the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent designer, widely recognized civic leader, author, lecturer, businessman, and longtime promoter of maritime

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Sarah Helen (Power) Whitman

The third member of Rhode Island’s early nineteenth-century group of famous literary women (Catherine Williams and Frances Whipple) was Sarah Helen (Power) Whitman. She was born in Providence on January 19, 1803, the daughter of the former Anna was Sarah Helen (Power) Whitman, joining Marsh and Providence merchant and sea captain Nicholas Power. Helen’s father

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Amasa Eaton

Eaton, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1841-1914 Amasa Eaton was a prominent Providence attorney who might be described as the quintessential Progressive reformer. His distinguished lineage included Providence’s Brown family and the Herreshoffs of Bristol. He was an outspoken advocate of home rule for Providence and a member of the Metropolitan Park Commission, the Blackstone Neighborhood

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Rowland Hazard

Hazard, Rowland, 1829-1898 Rowland Hazard was the son of Hall of Fame member Rowland Gibson Hazard and the father of Hall of Fame inductee Caroline Newton Hazard. Born in Newport, he moved at the age of four to his family’s mill village of Peace Dale which remained his principal residence until his death–as well as

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Dr. Charles V. Chapin

Dr. Charles Chapin was an internationally renowned pioneer in the field of public health and epidemiology who served as Providence’s Superintendent of Health from 1884 to 1932. His book, The Sources and Modes of Infection, published in 1910, influenced physicians and public health officials across the United States and Europe by establishing public health standards.

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Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown (1733-1785), the son of Captain James Brown and Hope Power, was a noted businessman, scientist, professor, and architect, and one of the famous Brown brothers who dominated civic life in Providence during the second half of the eighteenth century. Although he was a successful merchant and the manager of his family’s spermaceti candle

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Seth Luther

Of all the Rhode Island leaders profiled herein, no person’s personal life was more erratic, peripatetic or tragic than that of Seth Luther. No one traveled through America as extensively or delivered more public addresses. No one lived in a more impoverished condition or fought as hard for the working class. Luther was born in

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Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard

Goddard, Robert H. I. (Robert Hale Ives), 1837-1916 Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard, newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Through his mother’s line of descent, Goddard was related to the Ives family, who partnered with the Brown family in shipping, manufacturing, real

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Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn

Patrick Henry Quinn was born on December 16, 1869, in the Warwick mill village of Phenix, son of Peter and Margaret (Callahan) Quinn. His parents displayed their patriotism for America and its traditions by naming their son after the fiery Virginia Revolutionary War patriot famous for his defiant statement, “Give me liberty or give me

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Governor Robert Emmet Quinn

Robert E. Quinn was born on April. 2, 1894, in Phoenix, Rhode Island, son of Charles Quinn and Mary Ann (McCabe) Quinn. Named for the noble Irish patriot, Robert Quinn led the political transformation of Rhode Island from Republican to Democratic during the turbulent 1920s and 1930s. As a young boy, Quinn went to St.

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Moses Brown

Moses Brown (1738-1836), a prominent Providence merchant, reformer, and philanthropist, was one of the five Brown brothers, a group that included John, Joseph, Nicholas, and James, the eldest, a twenty-six-year-old ship captain when he died at sea in 1751. They were the children of Captain James Brown and Hope Power, the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Power,

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Senator William Sprague Jr.

Senator William Sprague, Jr. (1799-1856) was one of the most prominent members of a family that ranked as one of Rhode Island’s richest and most powerful during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century. He was the son and namesake of William Sprague, founder of the great textile empire, the younger brother of Amasa, whose

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Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer III

Haffenreffer, R.F. Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, III (1902-1991), the eldest son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., succeeded to his father’s positions in several family ventures. Rudolph, III graduated from Dartmouth College (where he was an active alumnus) and Harvard School of Business Administration. He served as president of Narragansett Brewery and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company which the

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Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel

Major General Morphis Albert Jamiel, 1922-2013, truly exemplified the very best of America. Born into the well-known Jamiel family of Warren in 1922, his parents were the late Albert and Mary Jamiel. He had twelve brothers and sisters. From this humble origin in the small town of Warren, he eventually carved out a notable career

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Major General Nathanael Greene

Nathanael Greene was born in the Potowomut section of the town of Warwick on July 27, 1742 (or August 7, according to the New Style Julian calendar adopted in England and the American colonies in 1752). His father, for whom he was named, was a farmer and an iron maker whose second wife, Mary Mott,

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Colonel Christopher Greene

Christopher Greene (1737-1781) of Warwick, a direct descendant of Roger Williams and the second son of Judge Phillip and Elizabeth Wickes Greene, was one of Rhode Island’s most illustrious military figures of the American Revolution. Prior to the outbreak of war, Greene married Ann Lippitt, by whom he had nine children, and he engaged in

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Frederick Lippitt

Born to a life of privilege, Fred Lippitt (1917-2005) decided it was a privilege to serve others. The Lippitt family was among the first settlers of Rhode Island. In 1638, John Lippitt arrived in Providence. An ancestor, Christopher Lippitt, commanded Rhode Island troops in the Revolution. The Lippitt name also dots Rhode Island’s landscape: one

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James Burrill Angell

James Burrill Angell had a remarkably diverse career– Brown University graduate, professor of languages, newspaper editor, university president, and diplomat. He is best known as the longest-serving president of the University of Michigan where he aspired to provide an ‘uncommon education for the common man.’ Born on January 7, 1829, in Scituate, Rhode Island, Angell

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John “Jack” Anthony Flynn

John Anthony Flynn was the legendary baseball coach at Providence College. He was raised in South Providence when it was an Irish immigrant ghetto. As a boy, he lived very near the slaughterhouses where the neighborhood dogs went to feast on the scraps. That practice gave Jack’s area the derisive name “Dogtown.” Jack and his

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Samuel Slater

More than anyone, Samuel Slater pioneered the making of modern Rhode Island. This so-called Father of the Factory System was the catalyst for the economic transformation that gave Rhode Island its salient characteristic – an industrial order that dominated the state’s economy from the early nineteenth century until the dawn of the present postindustrial era.

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Colonel Stephen Olney

Stephen Olney (1756-1832), of North Providence, was one of Rhode Island’s most distinguished and longest-serving officers during the War for Independence. He was a fifth-generation descendant of Thomas Olney, a joint proprietor with Roger Williams in the settlement of Providence. In 1774, at the age of eighteen, Stephen Olney became a private in a newly

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Benjamin B. and Robert L. Knight

Knight, Benjamin B., 1813-1898 and Knight, Robert, 1825-1912 The Knight brothers were textile manufacturers and philanthropists, owning twenty-one manufacturing villages under the logo “Fruit of the Loom,” and employing nearly 7000 operatives. Benjamin was born in Cranston, R.I., 3 October 1813 to Stephen and Welthan (Brayton) Knight, farmers. He spent his early years assisting his

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LeBaron Bradford Colt

LeBaron Bradford Colt was born in Dedham, Massachusetts to Christopher and Theodora (DeWolf) Colt. He and his equally famous brother, Samuel, had very influential forebears. On their maternal side, they were the grandsons of General George DeWolf of Bristol and the grandnephews of U.S. Senator James DeWolf, a wealthy merchant and notorious slave trader. Other

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Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee

Everitte St. John Chaffee is credited with developing standards of excellence for the Rhode Island State Police when he was appointed as its founding Superintendent on April 2, 1925. The appointment of Colonel Chafee as first Superintendent was not popular, but Gov. Aram J. Pothier, who selected Chaffee, and the General Assembly resisted any efforts

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Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, 1785-1819, naval hero of the famous Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. On September 10, 1813, his ten-ship squadron defeated a comparable British force, thereby giving America control of that strategic waterway, a feat that made Perry a national hero. His terse note to General William Henry Harrison

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Abraham Whipple

Abraham Whipple (1733-1819) was a successful privateer and naval officer who was born in Providence, the son of Noah and Mary Whipple. Of humble origins, Whipple went to sea at an early age and became associated with the wealthy and influential Brown family of merchant entrepreneurs. During the French and Indian War, he served as

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Senator William Bradford

William Bradford (1729-1808), born in Plympton, Massachusetts, was the great-great-grandson and namesake of the famous governor of the Plymouth Colony. Bradford studied medicine in Hingham, Massachusetts, and then opened a practice in Warren a few years after that town’s transfer from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 1747. In 1751, he married Mary LeBaron, the daughter

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Samuel Pomeroy Colt

Samuel Pomeroy Colt, a brother of U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt, shared his sibling’s impressive lineage. Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1852 as the youngest of six children, he received his early education in Hartford, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1873, and from Columbia Law School in 1876. Samuel (or “Pom” as

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Alva Vanderbilt Belmont

Alva V. Belmont was an American multi-millionaire socialite and women’s suffrage activist. She was noted for her energy, intelligence, strong opinions, and willingness to challenge convention. She was born on January 17, 1853, at 201 Government Street in Mobile, Alabama to Murray Forbes Smith, a merchant, and Phoebe Smith. Her father was the son of

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Sylvia K. Hassenfeld

Mrs. Hassenfeld, formerly of Providence, lived in both New York City and Palm Beach, FL. She was been widely recognized as an outstanding civic, cultural, and philanthropic leader of international communal services for more than 40 years. Mrs. Hassenfeld has been described as “one of the most significant leaders in the American Jewish community of

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Nathanael G. “Nat” Herreshoff

Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America’s Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. “Captain Nat” and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America’s first torpedo boat

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Nicholas Brown II

Nicholas Brown II, 1769-1841, Providence businessman and philanthropist, was the son and heir of of Nicholas Brown, one of the five famous Brown brothers of late eighteenth-century Providence. In 1796 he formed the highly successful mercantile-industrial partnership Brown & Ives, which made a fortune in the China trade. When the name of Rhode Island College

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Carl W. Haffenreffer

Haffenreffer, Carl W. Carl W. Haffenreffer, son of Rudolph Haffenreffer, Jr., continued his father’s tradition of business and philanthropic activity. With brother Rudolph 3rd and the R.F. Haffenreffer Family Foundation, he donated most of the Mount Hope lands and the King Philip Museum to Brown University. He became president of Narragansett Brewery, succeeding brother Rudolf,

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Maud Howe Elliott

Maud Howe Elliott was an American writer, artist, political activist, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. She and her sister, Laura E. Richards, shared a Pulitzer Prize for the biography of their mother, The Life of Julia Ward Howe. Other prominent works by Maud Howe Elliott included A Newport Aquarelle (1882); Phillida (1891); Mammon (1893);

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Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe

Mark Antony Dewolfe Howe, 1864-1960, was born on August 23, 1864 into one of Bristol’s leading families. Mark was his father’s seventeenth of eighteen children by three wives. After his prolific father and namesake became Episcopal bishop of central Pennsylvania, Mark enrolled at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where his father was chairman of the

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Frank Licht

Mr. Licht, formerly of Providence, was Governor of the State of Rhode Island from 1969 to 1973, and served as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court from 1956 to 1968. He was also a member of the State Senate for seven years, and was the only Rhode Island Governor to serve in all three

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U.S. Senator Jesse H. Metcalf

Jesse Metcalf and his wife Louisa Sharpe Metcalf were the dynamic duo of Rhode Island philanthropy in the early 20th century. Jesse was the son and namesake of the founder of Providence’s Wanskuck Mills, one of America’s largest woolen manufacturers, and his mother, Helen, a Hall of Fame inductee, co-founded the Rhode Island School of

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John Carter

John Carter (1745-1814) was born in Philadelphia in 1745, the son of Elizabeth Spriggs, and John Carter, a naval officer of Irish ancestry killed in battle two months before his son’s birth. During the late 1750s, Carter was apprenticed in the print shop of Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. In 1767, Carter moved to Providence,

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Rudolph Frederick Haffenreffer Jr.

Haffenreffer, Rudolph Frederick, 1874-1954 Rudolf Frederick Haffenreffer, Jr. (1874-1954), a native of Boston and a first generation German-American, became a successful Fall River brewer and purchased several hundred acres in Bristol from 1903 to 1912 for use as a summer retreat. His acquisitions included Mount Hope and the Bradford House. After completing his basic education

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Chief Justice John Henry Stiness

John H. Stiness was born in Providence, Rhode Island on August 8, 1840, the son of Philip Bessom Stiness and Mary (Marsh) Stiness. He was descended from English ancestors who came to this country and settled in Marblehead, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War. His father was one of the founders of the New England Screw

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