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About Russell DeSimone

Russell J. DeSimone is an independent scholar. He is the compiler of Broadsides of the Dorr Rebellion (1992), and author of The Dorr Rebellion Chronicled in Ballads and Poetry (1993), A Survey of Nineteenth Century Rhode Island Billheads (2002), Rhode Island Election Tickets: a Survey (2007), Rhode Island’s Rebellion (2009) and Remarkable Women of Rhode Island (2014). As a native Rhode Islander he has been a lifelong student of its history having written numerous articles about it. Now retired from both the defense industry and as an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island library where he curated numerous exhibitions drawn mainly from his collecting interest including “A Survey of 19th Century Rhode Island Billheads”, “Rhode Island Lotteries – Three Centuries of History”, “Voting and the Spirit of Democracy”, “Picturesque Rhode Island” and in 2005 “Thomas Wilson Dorr – A Bicentennial Birthday Tribute”. DeSimone currently is the co-historian-in-residence for the Dorr Rebellion Project Site http://library.providence.edu/dps/projects/dorr/index.html sponsored by Providence College.
Latest Posts | By Russell DeSimone
Rhode Island’s Italian-American Political Pioneers
1 month ago

Rhode Island’s Italian-American Political Pioneers

The hallmark of a great democracy is that its leaders reflect the composition of the electorate. It has been the case that for each new wave of immigrants the first …
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Rhode Island Lotteries through the Centuries
8 months ago

Rhode Island Lotteries through the Centuries

Lotteries are said to have had their beginnings in Europe. Some say it was in Renaissance Florence with the advent of the game “Lotto” and there is some evidence …
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Book Review:  Dark Work, The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island
12 months ago

Book Review: Dark Work, The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island

Book Review: Dark Work, The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island by Christy Clark-Pujara (New York University Press, 2016)

Precious little was ever published in the nineteenth century on …
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Rhode Island Advertising Currency
1 year ago

Rhode Island Advertising Currency

The use of facsimile currency for advertising purposes was not unusual during the nineteenth century, and such ephemeral items are known to exist from all areas of the country. One …
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Filibuster, Fisticuffs and a Bomb:  The Battle for the 1924 Rhode Island Senate
1 year ago

Filibuster, Fisticuffs and a Bomb: The Battle for the 1924 Rhode Island Senate

It was, the Providence News reported in its May 13, 1924, edition, “[t]he greatest political battle in the State of Rhode Island since the Dorr Rebellion.” Not surprisingly, …
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The Providence Macaroni Riots of 1914
3 years ago

The Providence Macaroni Riots of 1914

In 1914 the city of Providence was convulsed with riots. Starting in late August and lasting into September the streets of the city’s Federal Hill section came alive with violence …
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