Tag: Education & Universities

Reverend John Callender

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

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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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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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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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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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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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Henry Barnard

Henry Barnard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on January 24, 1811, the son of Betsy Andrews and Chauncey Barnard, a sea captain and farmer. He graduated from Yale in 1830, taught school for a year in Pennsylvania and then returned to Connecticut to study law. Although he gained admission to the bar in 1834, he

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Annie Smith Peck

Annie Smith Peck was an American mountaineer and adventurer. She was an ardent suffragist and noted speaker, lecturing extensively for many years throughout the world, and writing four books encouraging travel and exploration. Peck was born on October 19, 1850, in Providence, Rhode Island. She was the youngest of five children born to Ann Power Smith Peck and George Bacheler Peck.

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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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Frederick D. Tootell

Frederick Tootell was an Olympic gold winner who became nationally famous as a collegiate track coach at the University of Rhode Island.  He showed his promise as an athlete at Bowdoin College, earning all-Maine and All-New England honors as a football tackle as well as starring on the track team. At Bowdoin, he was a

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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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Reverend Joseph L. Lennon, O.P.

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.

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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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Reverend Samuel Hopkins

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

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Reverend James Manning

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

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