1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Inventory

5.   Subjects

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 Giuseppe Zambarano Papers

 Merchant, Providence, R.I.

 Papers, 1895-1915

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 1012

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, November 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Giuseppe Zambarano (6/22/1872-1917) was born in Caserta, near Naples in southern Italy. His parents were Gioacchino (3/17/1843-1921) and Antonia Zambarano (-1895). They brought their family of 3 boys and one girl to America when Giuseppe, the youngest boy, was about 7 years old circa 1879-1880. The Zambarano family settled in Thornton, RI and settled into life as laborers. Gioacchino and his family shared living quarters with his brother Lorenzo.

            Giuseppe married Caterina Martellucci ( -1954) on October 27, 1895 at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Knight St. in Providence after an engagement of one year. The Martellucci family was from the same group of villages near Naples as the Zambarano family. The marriage was arranged by their families. Giuseppe and Caterina had at least six children:

1. Stillborn boy (11/26/1896)

2. Ubaldo E. Zambarano (6/29/1899-1950) became a very successful physician, was the director of a tuberculosis clinic, and had a hospital named after him in Burrillville. He married Edna Branner and had daughters Elizabeth Ann and Joyce Katherine.

3. William (Guglielmo Giuseppe) J. Zambarano (5/7/1902-1931).

4. Henry (Enrico Petro) Zambarano (6/7/1903-1972), Providence City tax office employee. Married, no children.

5. Joseph (Giuseppe Gioachinno Alfonso) Zambarano (11/16/1906-1985), served in World War II. Married Beatrice (1909-1987).

6. Theresa C. Zambarano (b.11/11/1909), married George F. Lewis in 1935. Living in 1972.

            Before his marriage, Giuseppe worked in a local mill in Thornton. In September 1896, they moved to Providence, where Giuseppe opened a bar at 113 Acorn Street, the first of a series of small businesses. The city directories provide the following chronology:


1897-1902      Partner in the Eagle Park Wine Room/Pharmacy at 307 Douglas Ave., with Lorenzo Golini in 1897-1899, and with Vincenzo Fera and Antonio Aiello in 1901.

1901                Partner with Vincenzo Fera and Antonio Aiello in Colonial Café at 98 Spruce St.

1902-1903      Proprietor of Zambarano's Famous Metropolitan Café at 53-61 Weybosset Street in downtown Providence.

1904-1913      Proprietor of tavern at 288 Douglas Ave.

1907                Also proprietor of tavern at 482 Douglas Ave.

            Giuseppe was also very active in local politics and societies. He was a member of the Republican Party and ran for several city posts. He was elected President of the Thornton chapter of the Societa Mutuo Soccorso I Reali di Umberto I Italia a mutual benefit society in 1896. He served as Colonel of the Third Ward Roosevelt Battalion, an Italian-American militia unit. He sometimes used the name Joseph rather than Giuseppe, particularly in politics. He died in Providence in 1917.

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Scope and content:

            This collection relates mostly to Zambarano's business and political activities from 1892 to 1915. It includes 5 scrapbooks, a dues book of an unknown Italian organization, and a personal memorandum book. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, correspondence, bills, advertising fliers and a wide variety of other material. The bulk of the collection is in Italian, but there is some English-language material for those lacking language skills. Many of the newspaper clippings are in English, and a significant portion of the letters Zambarano received were from his Yankee political contacts. He also wrote fluent English as well. His personal memorandum book is all written in Italian, except for one entry on page 37 in his own hand, describing the "Italian Ball: Successful Affair Held last Night at Hibernian Hall."

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            This collection was a gift from Edward Spargo in 1997.

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Box 1. Oversized material:

1 folder of notes by researcher Austin Kennedy, 2003

1 folder of miscellaneous items

            Warranty Deed of John Hathaway to Zambarano, 1907

            Newspaper clipping of parade to honor officers of Italian Cruiser Etruria, n.d.

            Letter from Carlo Constantino to Zambarano, 1910

            Letter from Joseph Perry to a Mr. Zambarano regarding land on Nantucket Island, 1969

Diary, 1895-1909

Dues book of unknown organization, 1911-1915

Scrapbook, 1904-1908

Scrapbook of responses to invitations to a testimonial dinner held in Zambarano's honor, 1912

Box 2. Double-oversized material:

Scrapbook, 1892-1904 (mostly 1900-1904)

Large scrapbook, 1909

Very large scrapbook, 1910-1913

Folder of clippings re Ubaldo and Henry Zambarano, 1928-1972 (copies)

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Bars (drinking establishments) - Rhode Island - Providence

Diaries, 1895-1909

Emigration and immigration - United States - Rhode Island

Italian Americans - Rhode Island - Providence

Providence, R.I. - Politics

Republican Party - Rhode Island

Restaurants, lunch rooms, etc. - Rhode Island - Providence

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