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About Robert A. Geake

Bob Geake is a local historian and the author of eight books on Rhode Island and New England history. His latest book is From Slaves to Soldiers: The First Rhode Island Regiment in the American Revolution. Other books include A History of the Narragansett Tribe: Keepers of the Bay, Native and New Americans, Historic Taverns of Rhode Island, A History of the Providence River, The New England Mariner Tradition, and Colonial New England Curiosities. Mr. Geake was the events coordinator for the Brown Bookstore for many years. Currently, he is an archivist at the Warwick Historical Society and also serves as a board member of the Warwick Historical Society. He is a docent at Smith’s Castle in Wickford, and serves on its educational planning committee.
Latest Posts | By Robert A. Geake
Caleb Eddy and an African Slave Voyage Gone Awry
3 months ago

Caleb Eddy and an African Slave Voyage Gone Awry

After the French Revolution, while tensions between Great Britain and the new French revolutionary government were growing, the disruption with trade to the West Indies was acute, especially for Rhode …
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“Citizen” James Varnum and His Fight for the Veterans of the Revolutionary War
12 months ago

“Citizen” James Varnum and His Fight for the Veterans of the Revolutionary War

In the glory of victory, within the early histories of the American republic, only a handful of heroes were chosen for public adulation and heroic mention. One of these heroes …
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Early Accounts of Kent County by Travelers Near and from Afar
2 years ago

Early Accounts of Kent County by Travelers Near and from Afar

Early accounts of travel in what would become Kent County attest to the wildness of the areas in the colony away from the water, where the economy was centered. While …
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“So Neare As We May Judge:” Jury Duty in Early Rhode Island
2 years ago

“So Neare As We May Judge:” Jury Duty in Early Rhode Island

The early court system of Providence was established in its first code of law in 1640, with a body of “five desposers” to ”meete upon gennerall ocations” and look after …
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Unfortunate Ends: Gleanings from the Death Notices of Early Rhode Island Newspapers
2 years ago

Unfortunate Ends: Gleanings from the Death Notices of Early Rhode Island Newspapers

Death notices began to appear in America with the first newspapers. A community-wide extension of the early notices on tavern and meeting house doors, these first notices were sparse, containing …
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John Angell: The Last Gortonist
3 years ago

John Angell: The Last Gortonist

While writing of the diversity of religious leanings in the colony of Rhode Island for my recent book on colonial New England (see the advertisement next to this article), I …
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From Saints to Bootleggers: The Struggle for Temperance and Prohibition in Kent County, 1805-1937.  Part II: Prohibition and the Gangster Carl Rettich, 1920-1937
3 years ago

From Saints to Bootleggers: The Struggle for Temperance and Prohibition in Kent County, 1805-1937. Part II: Prohibition and the Gangster Carl Rettich, 1920-1937

In Kent County, after more than a century of temperance supporters promoting laws banning the sale of alcohol, and the sometimes, violent opposition to such efforts, those in the temperance …
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From Saints to Bootleggers:  The Struggle for Temperance and Prohibition in Kent County, 1805-1937 Part I:  The Struggle for Temperance, 1805-1889
3 years ago

From Saints to Bootleggers: The Struggle for Temperance and Prohibition in Kent County, 1805-1937 Part I: The Struggle for Temperance, 1805-1889

Early ministers in Rhode Island, traveling from place to place to preach, often spoke out against various vices. For example, in his 1754 journal, the Reverend Jacob Bailey of Massachusetts …
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