The Reverend John Callender (1706-1748) became the first historian of Rhode Island in 1738 when he wrote a work to commemorate the colony’s centennial. Not surprisingly, he viewed his topic through a religious prism; surprisingly, he thought the arrival of William Coddington, Anne Hutchinson, Dr. John Clarke, and other Aquidneck settlers in 1638 truly launched
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
The Most Reverend Francis Patrick Keough, D.D., was the fourth Bishop of Providence. Keough was born in New Britain, Connecticut to Irish immigrant parents on December 30, 1890. After choosing the priestly vocation, he studied in St. Thomas Preparatory Seminary. Then, Bishop John J. Nilan sent him to the Seminary of St. Sulpice, at Issy,
Reverend Joseph L. Lennon has been called the “ubiquitous Father Lennon,” the versatile Father Lennon, and “Mister Providence College.” Joseph Luke Lennon was a native Rhode Islander and maintained a lifelong connection with the Elmhurst section of Providence. He was born on September 21, 1919, the son of John J. Lennon and Marjorie (McCabe) Lennon.
Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803) was a Congregational theologian and reformer. He was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Hopkins, a successful farmer with the financial means to send young Samuel to Yale, from which he graduated in 1741. During his senior year at Yale, then operating under Congregational auspices, Hopkins became caught up in
Reverend James Manning (1738-1791), Baptist clergyman and founding president of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), was born in Elizabeth Township, New Jersey, to parents who were probably of Irish origin. He attended Hopewell Academy, a Baptist grammar school, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), a school that operated under Presbyterian auspices. In
Harriet Ware was born on July 12, 1799, in Paxton, Massachusetts, a small town just northwest of Worcester and about thirteen miles northeast of the town of Ware, settled by her ancestors. Little is known about her formative years. The brief sketch of her life by her benefactor, the Reverend Francis Wayland, president of Brown
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