1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Rhode Island Peace Society

 Peace organizations, Providence, RI

 Records, 1818-1973

 Size: .5 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 14

 Processed by: Harold Kemble, c. 1970

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The records do not reveal who issued the public call that produced a meeting at Blake's Hotel, Providence, on 20 March, 1818. Presumably it was one of the men who were, at that meeting, chosen to form a peace society. The original name was the Rhode Island and Providence Plantation Peace Society. The first President was William Jones; Vice-Presidents were Thomas Buffum, Benjamin B. Mumford, and Elisha R. Potter; Trustees were Thomas Abner Kingman and Walter Paine. Elder Barnabas Bates was named the first Corresponding Secretary and George Benson served first as Recording Secretary. Moses Brown acted as Treasurer until his death.

            In order to forestall any immediately divisive doctrinal disputes, the constitution was very carefully worded to state the purpose of the organization as being "united in solemnly protesting against all offensive wars of aggression and conquest as sinful and unchristian." Membership peaked early. In spite of considerable propagandizing, the Society went into a period of decline after 1825 and by 1837 had nearly lapsed into non-existence. Never robust, the Society did nevertheless experience some spells of activity--notable during the European War of 1914-1918. In 1973 the Rhode Island Peace Society formally disbanded.

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Scope and content:

            The bulk, and certainly the most important part of these records, consists of four volumes of minutes of meetings of the membership, Directors and Trustees, between 1818-1973. These volumes also include reports, membership rolls, resolutions, etc. The correspondence, 1934-1973, reflects mostly the financial condition of the Society.

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            This collection was a gift of the Rhode Island Peace Society.

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Box 1, Folder 1           Constitution, By-Laws, Articles of Incorporation and           1818-1914

                                    Charter, original and amended versions

Volume 1                    Minute book                                                                           1818-1844

Volume 2                    Minute book                                                                        1884-May 1960

Volume 3                    Minute book                                                                          Oct 1960- May 1967

Volume 4                    Minute book                                                                          Oct 1967- May 1973

Box 1, Folder 4           Correspondence                                                                     1934-1973

Volume 5                    Financial Records                                                             1818-1832

Box 1, Folder 5           Financial Records                                                              1917-1971

Box 1, Folder 6           Miscellaneous historical notes and ephemera

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Peace - Societies


Rhode Island and Providence Plantation Peace Society

Jones, William, 1753-1822

Buffum, Thomas

Mumford, Benjamin B.

Potter, Elisha Reynolds, 1811-1882

Arnold, Thomas, 1742-1821

Edes, Henry, 1778-1851

Wright, Luther

Brown, Moses, 1738-1836

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