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Providence, Providence, Rhode Island


Providence is the capital and most populous city of the state of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region. The city proper population of 178,042 anchors the 37th largest metropolitan population in the country, with an estimated MSA population of 1,600,856, exceeding that of Rhode Island by about 60% due to its reaching into southern Massachusetts. This MSA in turn is part of the larger Greater Boston commuting area, which contains 7.6 million people. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River, at the head of Narragansett Bay, the city's small footprint is crisscrossed by seemingly erratic streets and contains a rapidly changing demographic.

Providence was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. After being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, the City of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing activity. Once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry", Providence began rebranding itself as the "Creative Capital" in 2009 to emphasize its educational resources and arts community. Its previous moniker was "The Renaissance City", although its 2009 poverty rate was still over 22%.

History — The area that is now Providence was first settled in June 1636 by Roger Williams, and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies of the United States. Although the west bank of the Providence River was later claimed by both the English and the Dutch, the actual inhabitants and true masters of the region were the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation led by Massasoit Ousamequin. Williams secured permission to settle from the Pokanoket and gave the city its present name. Williams' Providence soon became a refuge for persecuted religious dissenters, as he himself had been exiled from Massachusetts. Providence's growth would be slow during the next quarter-century—the subsuming of its territory into surrounding towns, difficulty of farming the land, and differing of local traditions and land conflicts all slowed development.

In the mid-1770s, the British government levied taxes that impeded Providence's maritime, fishing and agricultural industries, the mainstay of the city's economy. One example was the Sugar Act, which was a tax levied against Providence's distilleries that adversely affected its trade in rum and slaves. These taxes caused Providence to join the other colonies in renouncing allegiance to the British Crown. In response to enforcement of unpopular trade laws, Providence residents spilled blood in the leadup to the American Revolution in the notorious Gaspée Affair of 1772.

Though during the American Revolutionary War the city escaped British occupation, the capture of nearby Newport disrupted industry and kept the population on alert. Troops were quartered for various campaigns and Brown University's University Hall was used as a barracks and military hospital.

After departing from Newport, French troops sent by King Louis XVI and commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau passed through Providence on their way to join the attack against British forces. The march from Newport to Providence was the beginning of a campaign led jointly by Rochambeau and General George Washington in a decisive march that ended with the defeat of General Cornwallis in the Siege of Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia and the Battle of the Chesapeake.

Following the war, Providence was the country's ninth largest city with 7,614 people. The economy shifted from maritime endeavors to manufacturing, particularly machinery, tools, silverware, jewelry and textiles. By the turn of the twentieth century, Providence boasted some of the largest manufacturing plants in the country, including Brown & Sharpe, Nicholson File, and Gorham Silverware. The city's industries attracted many immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, England, Italy, Portugal, Cape Verde, and French Canada. Economic and demographic shifts caused social strife, notably with a series of race riots between whites and blacks during the 1820s. In response to these troubles and the economic growth, Providence residents ratified a city charter in 1831 as the population passed 17,000.

During the Civil War, local politics split over slavery as many had ties to Southern cotton. Despite ambivalence concerning the war, the number of military volunteers routinely exceeded quota, and the city's manufacturing proved invaluable to the Union. Postwar, horsecar lines covering the city enabled its growth and Providence thrived with waves of immigrants and land annexations bringing the population from 54,595 in 1865 to 175,597 by 1900.

The city's boom began to wane in the mid-1920s as industries, notably textiles, shut down. Jewelry manufacturing continued to grow, taking up the slack and employing many of the city's new immigrants, coming from Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Lithuanian and Jewish backgrounds. A number of hospitals also opened. The Great Depression hit the city hard, and Providence's downtown was subsequently flooded by the New England Hurricane of 1938. Though the city received a boost from World War II, this ended with the war. The city saw further decline as a result of nation-wide trends, with the construction of highways and increased suburbanization. The population would drop by 38% over the next three decades. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Providence was a notorious bastion of organized crime. The mafia boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca ruled a vast criminal enterprise.

The city's "Renaissance" began in the 1970s. From 1975 until 1982, $606 million of local and national Community Development funds were invested throughout the city, and the hitherto falling population began to stabilize. In the 1990s, Mayor Vincent Cianci, Jr showcased the city's strength in arts and pushed for further revitalization, ultimately resulting in the uncovering of the city's natural rivers (which had been covered by paved bridges), relocation of a large section of railroad underground, creation of Waterplace Park and river walks along the river's banks, and construction of the Fleet Skating Rink (now the Bank of America Skating Rink) downtown and the 1.4 million ft² Providence Place Mall.

New investment triggered within the city, with new construction including numerous condo projects, hotels, and a new office high-rise all filling in the freed space. Despite new investment, poverty remains an entrenched problem as it does in most post-industrial New England cities. Approximately 22 percent of the city population lives below the poverty line. Recent increases in real estate values further exacerbate problems for those at marginal income levels, as Providence had the highest rise in median housing price of any city in the United States from 2004 to 2005.

City/Town : Latitude: 41.823989100, Longitude: -71.412834300


Matches 1 to 50 of 54

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   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID 
1 BECK, Daniel Raymond  12 Jul 1897Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10675
2 BECK, John Willard  2 Aug 1889Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10671
3 BECK, Luta Margaret  21 Jul 1891Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10673
4 BECK, Waldo Leon  3 Sep 1894Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10674
5 BERRY, Hope C.  Abt 1917Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9509
6 CREED, Elizabeth  Abt 1769Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10858
7 CREED, George  Abt 1771Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10859
8 CREED, Job Prince  Abt 1785Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10850
9 CREED, John  28 Apr 1779Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10861
10 CREED, Mary (Polly)  Abt 1776Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10860
11 GLOVER, Anna Edna  27 Oct 1894Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56171
12 GLOVER, Hazel  18 Apr 1901Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56172
13 GLOVER, Jessie Hope  18 Apr 1901Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56173
14 GLOVER, John Earle  29 Jun 1888Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56168
15 GLOVER, Lela Margaret Pearl  20 Nov 1898Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56176
16 GLOVER, Lillian Viola  25 Feb 1890Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56169
17 GLOVER, Lucetta Mabel  23 Dec 1885Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56166
18 GLOVER, Ora Myrtle  30 Jan 1893Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56170
19 GLOVER, Robert Harold  16 Nov 1896Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56174
20 GLOVER, William Wilson  7 Mar 1887Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56167
21 GORDON, Beale Mitchell  7 Jul 1894Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I45935
22 GORDON, Mildred Elizabeth  15 Mar 1897Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I46217
23 HAWKINS, John Albert  8 Mar 1932Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I36419
24 HERRING, Stanley Spargo  7 Jun 1894Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6707
25 MACHON, Archibald Thomas  17 Jan 1895Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9495
26 MACHON, Asa  Abt 1880Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6540
27 MACHON, Charles Vere  Abt 1870Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6537
28 MACHON, Charles Vere Jr.  Abt 1898Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9497
29 MACHON, Clara  Abt 1876Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9358
30 MACHON, Daniel Charles  Abt 1872Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9357
31 MACHON, Euphemia (Effie) M.  17 Mar 1902Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9499
32 MACHON, Harriet  Abt 1874Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6558
33 MACHON, Henry  Abt 1878Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9359
34 MACHON, Herbert J.  Abt 1877Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6542
35 MACHON, Herbert J. Jr.  Abt 1917Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9508
36 MACHON, John Thomas  17 Mar 1897Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9496
37 MACHON, Lillian  Abt 1882Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6544
38 MACHON, Maude Mary  Abt 1875Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6541
39 MACHON, Norman H.  14 Jan 1900Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9498
40 MACHON, Stella Jane  Abt 1878Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6543
41 MACHON, William  Abt 1873Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6539
42 MATTHEWS, Clifford W.  Abt 1890Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10684
43 MATTHEWS, De Vere  15 Jan 1886Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10685
44 MATTHEWS, Irene  15 May 1888Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10683
45 MATTHEWS, Selina  1 Nov 1884Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10682
46 MCGREGOR, Edward S.  Abt Dec 1870Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I45565
47 NICOLLE, Edna  Abt 1922Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9688
48 NICOLLE, Elizabeth (Lizzie) C.  Abt 1904Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9685
49 NICOLLE, Glenn Herbert  5 Jul 1913Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9686
50 NICOLLE, Kathryn  Abt 1912Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9681

1 2 Next»


Matches 1 to 40 of 40

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Death    Person ID 
1 BECK, Elisha Hawkins  Abt 1941Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10505
2 BUFFINGTON, Edwin Crowell  26 Dec 1938Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I8817
3 CREED, George  Bef 1811Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10859
4 CRICHTON, Catherine Millar  Abt 1934Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I8667
5 GLOVER, Annie Maretta  11 Nov 1952Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I8723
6 GLOVER, Catherine Hugh  17 Apr 1907Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I13853
7 GLOVER, Cornelius L.  11 May 1918Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I13854
8 GLOVER, David  24 Jan 1911Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9041
9 GLOVER, Fanny Estelle  2 Jul 1950Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I8722
10 GLOVER, James  26 Sep 1919Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6863
11 GLOVER, Jessie Hope  11 Nov 1908Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56173
12 GLOVER, John  7 Feb 1890Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I13856
13 GLOVER, Lela Margaret Pearl  21 Oct 1928Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56176
14 GLOVER, Ora Myrtle  8 Sep 1895Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56170
15 GLOVER, Peter Thomas  26 Nov 1895Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I13857
16 GLOVER, Robert Harold  16 Jul 1948Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56174
17 GLOVER, William White  21 Jul 1921Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56165
18 GORDON, Mildred Elizabeth  Abt 1956Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I46217
19 HAWKINS, Charlotte E.  27 Feb 1931Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6823
20 HOOPER, Elizabeth (Lizzie) May  Abt 1936Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6534
21 HUME, David Henry  5 Jul 1925Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I34307
22 LELACHEUR, Cyrus  21 Jun 1952Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I4833
23 MACHON, Charles Vere Jr.  Abt 1972Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9497
24 MACHON, John Thomas  Abt 1927Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I4838
25 MACHON, Lillian  Abt 1974Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6544
26 MACHON, Mary Ellen  10 Nov 1942Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6589
27 MACHON, Peter James  15 Oct 1966Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6588
28 MACHON, Rosa May  24 Feb 1953Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I4749
29 MACHON, Sarah Anne  17 Mar 1929Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6582
30 MACHON, Stella Jane  Abt 1957Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6543
31 MACHON, Thomas Charles  1 Sep 1946Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6584
32 MCKINNON, John N.  29 Jan 1942Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I11054
33 NICOLLE, Glenn Herbert  15 Feb 1980Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9686
34 NICOLLE, Herbert Howard  2 Nov 1952Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I4758
35 NICOLLE, William Henry  Abt 1950Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I9392
36 SCRANTON, Grace  31 Jul 1696Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I57347
37 SENCABAUGH, Charlotte Olivia  4 Sep 1961Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I8911
38 SHEPPE, Thomas  17 Oct 1683Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I57346
39 SHIPPEE, David  8 Nov 1718Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I57343
40 SPENCER, Mary  10 Jan 1821Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I10856


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Burial    Person ID 
1 GLOVER, Robert Harold  20 Jul 1948Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I56174


Matches 1 to 3 of 3

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Immigration    Person ID 
1 BAILEY, Ellen  Abt 1882Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I31518
2 BISHOP, Philip Sanders  17 Apr 1888Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I3345
3 HAWKINS, Charlotte E.  Abt 1892Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I6823


Matches 1 to 3 of 3

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Naturalization    Person ID 
1 BAILEY, Ellen  Abt 1893Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I31518
2 BISHOP, Philip Sanders  12 Apr 1893Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I3345
3 REYNOLDS, Elwood Ames  7 Jul 1936Providence, Providence, Rhode Island I5395


Matches 1 to 8 of 8

   Family    Marriage    Family ID 
1 BECK / WINSLOW  10 Oct 1917Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F7545
2 CREED / PRINCE  Abt 1783Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F7659
3 GLOVER / MACHON  23 Jun 1885Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F37812
4 HEMPEL / MUTLOW  29 Nov 1905Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F9550
5 LATHAM / GLOVER  Abt 1920Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F37820
6 McGREGOR / HAWKINS  Abt 1900Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F4895
7 PHILLIPS / FOSTER  9 Dec 1873Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F9233
8 TIBBETTS / WHITE  31 Mar 1884Providence, Providence, Rhode Island F9242