1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Providence Miscellaneous Records

 Records, 1685/6-1900 and undated; and 1960-1964.

 Size: 0.25 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 214, sg 12

 Processed by: Robin Flynn, March 1998

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

Providence Redevelopment Agency

            In December 1960 the advertising firm Frank McCabe and Associates, Inc. proposed to the Providence Redevelopment Agency a plan to pair up with the radio station WPRO in Providence to run a program series entitled Probe, which would explore the issue of urban renewal in the city. The proposal was at the request of Robert Smith of the Redevelopment Agency. The focus of the partnership between the Redevelopment Agency and the radio station was to educate the public on the subject of urban renewal and its implications for residents of the city. Recent referenda for funds for the renewal project had passed by a slim margin, and the radio show was an effort to examine the reasons the public might be reluctant to back extensive revitalization of the Providence area.

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Scope and content:

            The miscellaneous Providence records date between 1685 and 1900; they include items relating to the Port of Providence; the Board of Health; the Board of Aldermen; the town and city council; an 1879 investigation of the Providence Police Department; construction of a city market building and city hall; town roads; town poor; licenses granted; and other documents.

            The records skip ahead to the twentieth century for the Providence Redevelopment Agency; these records are comprised of correspondence, memoranda, program proposals, and program notes for two radio shows run on Providence radio station WPRO during the years between 1960 and 1964.

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            The provenance of most of the collection is unknown. In 1862, Walter C. Simons donated the Providence post office account facsimile. The Society purchased the 1715 town meeting item concerning loose livestock from Kingston Galleries in 1967. The Providence Redevelopment Agency papers were donated in 1971 by John A. Fawcett. Mrs. Warren H. Howard donated the 1698 commission in 1988. The 1855 Port of Providence quarantine station records were purchased from Carmen Valentino in 1994.

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Processing note:

            Prior to 1998, the collection was divided into separate groups among miscellaneous Providence papers. In 1998, the document groups were combined under a single collection number. Where needed, individual documents were arranged in chronological order. The papers were re-housed in archival folders and boxes. The provenance of the collection was researched and an inventory was compiled.

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Providence Redevelopment Agency

Box 1, folder 1. Correspondence, proposals, memoranda, program notes, scripts for WPRO            radio show Probe, 1960-1964.

Box 1, folder 2. Script for WPRO TV program Close-Up, 1963 with "update" list, 1965.

Providence miscellaneous records

Box 1, folder 2a. Civil Compact of 1637 (photostat of original at Providence City Archives, see also published town papers, volume 1, page 1)

Box 1, folder 3. Misc. town meeting items

            Agreement for layout of land, 1685/6

            Resolution regarding fine for loose livestock, 1715/16

            Committee to report fireproof building for perservation of the public records, 1818

Box 1, folder 4. Commission to ---am Hawkins and Richard Harris, 1698/9

Box 1, folder 5. Roads/highways: copy of 1730 highway survey (copied by Theo. Foster), date             unknown (ca. 1760s?)

Box 1, folder 6. Town council, record of licenses granted, 1755-1782

Box 1, folder 7. Journal, Committee to Prevent Encroachment on Streets, 1783-1812

Box 1, folder 8. Resolutions, petitions concerning layout of streets in Providence, 1791, 1829,             1866 Providence Journal clipping re: history of Westminster Street, 1888

Box 1, folder 9. Overseers of the Poor, complaints re: transient Thomas Fletcher, July and             August, 1810

Box 1, folder 10. Misc. town council items: Abstract of number and description of licenses             granted by town council, 1824; experiment for measuring corn, undated

Box 1, folder 11. Providence Board of Health, correspondence re: cholera epidemic and quarantine       of vessels, July and August,1832; commuications from Board of Health at Montpelier,     Vt., re: cholera, June 1832

Box 1, folder 12. Permissions to pass the lines in and out of the city, June and July, 1842 (Dorr             War?)

Box 1, folder 13. Port of Providence, quarantine station records, 1855-1857

Box 1, folder 14. Act to establish boundary line between city of Providence and town of North             Providence, 1858

Box 1, folder 15. Providence Board of Aldermen, petition to to delay construction of a city hall,             undated, ca.1860-1870?

Box 1, folder 16. Facsimile of Providence post office account, 1776-1779, made out for postmaster Walter Simmons, 1862

Box 1, folder 17. Providence City Council, petition for bridge between 3rd and 5th wards,             March, 1869

Box 1, folder 18. Statistics, studies, correspondence drafts, ads concerning construction of city             hall and public market building, ca. 1870?

Box 1, folder 19. Resolution concerning copying several Providence town books, n.d.

            Lists (2) of taxes assessed, 1780


Vol. 1. Record of committee on highways, 1771-1826 (typescript)

Vol. 2. Town council account book, 1821-1853

Vol. 3. Council and probate proceedings, 1823-1825

Vol. 4. Justice of the peace accounts, 1847-1861

Vol. 5. City clerk's fees, 1848-1854

Vol. 6. Licenses issued, 1868

Vol. 7. Testimony taken before the Board of Aldermen in the police investigation, book I,

            October and November 1879

Vol. 8. Board of Aldermen meeting as a board of health (?), journal #1, 1885-1892

Vol. 9. Board of Aldermen meeting as a board of health (?), journal #2, 1892-1894

Vol. 8. Executive Department register of letters, 1889-1895

Vol. 9. Executive Department register of letters, 1895-1900

Vol. 10. Record of committee on claims, 1897-1898

Vol. 11. Copy of volumes 1-3 of Early Records of the Town of Providence

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Highways - R.I. - Providence

North Providence, R.I. - boundaries

Port of Providence

Providence, R.I. - boundaries

Providence, R.I. Overseers of the Poor

Providence Proprietors

Providence, R.I. Board of Aldermen

Providence, R.I. Board of Health

Providence City Hall

Providence Police Department

Providence Redevelopment Agency

Radio programs - Providence

Urban renewal - R.I. - Providence

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