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New England Citizen Soldiers of the Revolutionary War
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Murder at Rocky Point Park:
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Join author & reporter Kelly Sullivan Pezza as she investigates and recounts the murder of 5-year old Maggie Sheffield.
On a summer day in 1893, little Maggie Sheffield was murdered. Maggie's own father did the unthinkable against a backdrop of laughter and barrel organ music at Rocky Point Amusement Park. The tragedy aroused a strange reaction from the peaceable community of Warwick, Rhode Island. Many seemed to be more concerned for the murderer, Frank Sheffield, than for his young victim. Frank was rumored to be insane or addicted to drugs, and after a trial, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The murder did not tarnish Rocky Point's reputation as a premier destination, and the park operated until 1995. Investigating official records and newspaper archives, author Kelly Sullivan Pezza uncovers the facts and oddities behind a grim crime in Rhode Island's summer paradise.
Rhode Island Trolleys
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Treasured by locals and visitors alike, the charm of Block Island, Rhode Island, first developed as a summer resort in the late 1800s, is shown here throughout its history, from its begininning in 1637, to farming and fishing community, to summer scenes of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Block Island explores the evolution of the small, 7-by-3-mile island that lies between Point Judith, Rhode Island, and Montauk Point, New York. In 1637, Block Island, also known as "New Shoreham," was claimed by Massachusetts soldiers who took the land away from the Manisses Indians. When the island was sold to 16 proprietors in 1660, the history of Block Island as part of Rhode Island began. At any time of the year, Block Island has a special look and charm of its own. In addition to its beautiful sandy beaches and thundering surf, the island is plentiful with rolling hills, fertile valleys, and ponds. Within these pages, meet the early residents of the island and learn how this farming and fishing community first developed as a summer resort destination in the late 1800s. Summer scenes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including views of the steamers that arrived daily carrying thousands of passengers from New York, Connecticut, and other parts of Rhode Island, are also featured in this collection.
Death in Early New England
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Death in early New England came early and often during those harsh first decades of settlement.
Epidemics, hunger, accidents and childbirth contributed to a heavy toll in New England. Disease in some cases erased entire families, and almost always affected the majority of individuals in the communities. For most families, death was still a private affair. Traditions brought over with European customs and others that were strictly American were eventually interwoven, and these ceremonies, tokens and portraits of remembrance became part of these rites and rituals of mourning. Other forms of remembrance were carved into stone with heart-wrung epitaphs, the cause of death and brief biographies. Burial sites themselves evolved from family plots and church graveyards to public, garden-like cemeteries.
Historian Robert A. Geake explores the development of rites and rituals of death in this New World.
Witches, Wenches & Wild Women of Rhode Island
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Experience the history of Rhode Island and learn about the Ocean State's most fascinating and wild women.
Read of Mercy Brown, a nineteen-year-old consumption victim who was thought to be a vampire and whose body was exhumed and discovered with blood in the heart. There was Goody Seager, accused of infesting her neighbor's cheese with maggots by using witchcraft, and Tall ""Dutch"" Kattern of Block Island, an opium-eating fortune teller whose curse, legend says, set a ship aflame after its crew cast her ashore. Hear of the revolutionaries, like Julia Ward Howe, who invented Mother's Day and wrote the words to ""The Battle Hymn of the Republic,"" and religious reformer Anne Hutchinson, said to be the inspiration for Hawthorne's heroine in The Scarlet Letter, in these thrilling tales from author M.E. Reilly-McGreen.