Year Inducted: 1997

Anne M. Hutchinson - Anne Hutchinson was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1591, the daughter of an English clergyman named Francis Marbury, who was censured by the Anglican Church for his Puritan leanings (the Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England from any vestiges of the rejected Roman Catholic religion). In August 1612, the well-bred and educated Anne…
Chief Miantonomi - Canonicus and his nephew Miantonomi were the chief sachems of the powerful Narragansett tribe at the time when Roger Williams and other English colonists settled Rhode Island. The heart of the Narragansett’s strength during their “golden age” under Canonicus and Miantonomi was the tribe’s close association with such smaller bands as the Pawtuxet, the Shawomet,…
Chief Sachem Canonicus - Canonicus and his nephew Miantonomi were the chief sachems of the powerful Narragansett tribe at the time when Roger Williams and other English colonists settled Rhode Island. The heart of the Narragansett’s strength during their “golden age” under Canonicus and Miantonomi was the tribe’s close association with such smaller bands as the Pawtuxet, the Shawomet,…
Chief Sachem Metacomet - Metacomet, or Metacom (ca. 1638-1676), chief sachem of the Wampanoag Indian confederation from 1662 until 1676, ruled over a shrinking Native American empire on what is now Rhode Island's East Bay and southeastern Massachusetts. His English name and title, King Philip, were allegedly derived from Philip of Macedonia--a prophetic anointment before his involvement in the…
Darius L. and Lyman B. Goff - Goff, Darius L. (Darius Lee) and Goff, Lyman Bullock The Goff Brothers, formerly of Pawtucket, were the sons of the Honorable Darius Goff, and members of one of the most prominent industrialist families in New England. They were partners in D. Goff & Sons, which occupied a foremost position among regional industrial concerns. They were…
Dr. John Clarke - Dr. John Clarke (1609-1676) was the son of Thomas and Rose (Kerrich) Clarke. He was born in Westhorpe, Suffolk, in 1609, the fifth of seven children (according to a listing in the family's Geneva Bible) and the third of five sons, four of whom ultimately settled in Newport. Before he left England, he was probably…
Dr. Stanley M. Aronson - Dr. Aronson, of Rehoboth, MA, is an internationally acclaimed medical educator and researcher, founding Dean of the Brown University Medical School, co-founder of Hospice Care of Rhode Island and the Interfaith Health Care Ministries, prolific author and editor of the Rhode Island Medical Journal, and a person key to the establishment of diagnostic laboratory test…
Joseph P. Hassett - Mr. Hassett, of East Greenwich, was one of Rhode Island's all-time basketball greats, two-time all-stater, schoolboy All-American, and most valuable player for LaSalle Academy. He later starred for Providence College, becoming the third highest scorer in Friars history. He was twice-named All-New England and as an All-American, played for the NBA's World Champion Seattle Supersonics.…
Major General John J. Salesses - Major General Salesses, of Newport, was a retired U.S. Marine Corp Officer and accomplished Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rhode Island College. The first reservist to command a marine division, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs, and later on the Secretary of Defense's Reserve Forces Policy Board. He was a…
Margaret Langdon-Kelly - Mrs. Langdon-Kelly, of Little Compton, was affectionately known to all as "Poggy". She, along with Dr. Eric Denhoff, founded Rhode Island's famed Meeting Street School, a world renowned institution providing early education as well as medical intervention for special needs children. Her contributions to community service are legion, and at the age of 93, she…
Maria Spacagna - Maria Spacagna, formerly of Providence and now living in East Greenwich, distinguished soprano and a regular guest of leading opera companies throughout the world whose many prominent recordings have earned critical acclaim. A noted performer of the role of Madame Butterfly, she is the first American-born artist to interpret the role at the famed La…
Mary (Barrett) Dyer - Mary (Barrett) Dyer (ca. 1611-1660) was the wife of William Dyer of Somersetshire, England, with whom she came to Massachusetts in the mid-1630s. According to Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop, Mrs. Dyer was "a very proper and fair woman," and she and her husband were well educated. During the Antinomian controversy that rocked the Bay Colony…
Mayor and Captain Thomas Willett - Captain Thomas Willett (1611-1674) was the principal early settler of Wannamoisett (present-day Riverside and northern Barrington) and the first English mayor of New York City. Willett was born in England and embraced Calvinist theology as a young man. Like many of the Pilgrim fathers, he left England for Holland, where Calvinism flourished, and like many…
Reverend Gregory Dexter - Gregory Dexter (1610-1700), born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England, was admitted to the highly competitive and highly prized company of stationers in London in 1639. Information on his early life is scanty, but his level of literacy and his professional success indicate that he received a sound education. Dexter became a printer for the famous English…
Reverend Samuel Newman - The Reverend Samuel Newman (1602-1663) was a learned clergyman and the first prominent settler of present-day East Providence. He has not received as much acclaim as other Rhode Island founders because his village at Rumford, like the settlement of Thomas Willett at Wannamoisett, was beyond the boundaries of Rhode Island until the state annexed East…
Richard Smith - Richard Smith Sr. (1596-1666) was a prominent entrepreneur and by far the most important early settler of Rhode Island's present-day Washington (or "South") County. He was born in Gloucestershire, England, into a family of gentlemen farmers. Because his religious beliefs tended towards nonconformity, he gave up his material advantages in England for a life in…
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…
Thomas G. Corcoran - Thomas G. Corcoran was an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's brain trust during the New Deal and, later, a close friend and advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Corcoran was widely recognized as a critical member of Roosevelt's "brain trust" who had the savvy, influence, and toughness to get New Deal legislation written and…
William Coddington - William Coddington (1601-1678), principal founder of Portsmouth and Newport and governor of Rhode Island, was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, England. By his thirtieth year, he had achieved substance and position. In 1630, at about the same time as John Winthrop's arrival, he came to America as an assistant (director) in the Massachusetts Bay Company in…
William Harris - William Harris (1610-1681) had a reputation among colonial Rhode Islanders for stirring up controversy. In his lifetime, he was the instigator of numerous lawsuits, and he was charged and indicted for tumults and high treason--and subsequently released. While Roger Williams and John Clarke may vie with each other for the title of "Founder of Rhode…
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