Rhode Island

  • What is the Meaning of America's Oldest July 4th Celebration?

    by Ben Railton

    Bristol, Rhode Island's patriotic festivities are the oldest Independence Day festivities in the nation, but the town's history sits at the uncomfortable intersection of independence with the slave trade and wars of extermination against Native Americans. 

  • America’s First Black Regiment Earned Their Freedom by Fighting Against the British

    Philip Morgan says the decision to enlist both free and enslaved Black troops resulted both from Rhode Island's difficulty mustering a sufficient all-white force and George Washington's fear that Lord Dunmore's offer of freedom to enslaved men who joined the British army would undermine the slavery-based economy of Virginia and the southern colonies. 

  • There’s a Reason Newport Should Be Celebrated

    by Rockwell Stensrud

    At a time when many are questioning what America stands for in a world consumed by sectarian strife, it is well to remember where freedom of conscience was first practiced.