Ancient Pokanoket names are everywhere in Sowams!

The ancient place names of the Pokanoket people have been changed or eliminated by colonial settlers starting in the 17th century. In the map at the left are some of those ancient names over the places they once designated. In other cases, some of the original names have been retained to name businesses or street […]

What a Sowams Heritage Area could look like

The Sowams Heritage Area was envisioned by Barrington, RI resident Helen Trader in 2014 as a way to honor the Pokanoket Tribe who has resided here for the past 12,000 years and to better protect that land that remains today. That vision has evolved into a project that spans eight communities and connects over fifty […]

The History of Exploration of Sowams and New England

Starting with Leif Erickson’s exploration of the Newfoundland coast in 1,000 A.D., Europeans have been traveling to the coast of New England and Canada in search of fish, furs, and other resources as well as a route to China. At least twenty explorers’s found their way to North America from England and recorded their journeys. […]

The Kickemuit River in 17th century Sowams

The Kickemuit River ends at the Narrows in Bristol, RI, the site that was occupied by the Pokanoket Tribe for at least 7,000 years because of the abundance of seafood available at that location. Fresh water enters the salt water of Mount Hope Bay above dam at Child Street in Warren, RI, the location of […]

Settler Colonization and Indian Slavery in 17th Century Sowams

The goal of the English was to colonize New England by acquiring full or partial political control over Native societies and territories, founding a colony, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.  Compared to other settlements on the East Coast of America, this was relatively easy to do in New England because of the […]

History of the Royal Pokanoket Burial Site in Warren, RI described

One of two Royal Pokanoket Burial Grounds in Southeastern New England was established in the 16th century in today’s Warren, RI, at what is now Burr’s Hill Park. The site has a long history of disturbance of the burials starting with the construction of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad in 1854 and ending with […]

On-line tour of Leiden includes a correction of the Thanksgiving story

The Leiden400 organization offered a four-hour on-line tour of locations and museums linked to the Pilgrims on May 16, 2020 in lieu of the original planned live tour that had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jori Zijlmans, Curator of the Museum de Lakenhal, speaking about the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth said at  “. . […]

The Ring of the Green: Sowams' Second English Settlement

Though Roger Williams was the first Englishman to settle in 17th century Sowams, he was quickly followed by Rev. Samuel Newman and his followers from Weymouth who purchased land from the Massasoit Osamequin in 1643. After constructing a meeting house in what is now Rumford, RI, the settlers laid out over fifty farms, each fronting […]

The Massasoit and Edward Winslow: An Enduring Friendship

This presentation is designed to help you understand the history of cooperation that occurred in the 17th century led by the Massasoit Osamequin and Pilgrim Separatist Edward Winslow and how that cooperation ended with each of their sons by the 1670s. The earnest efforts on the part of Edward Winslow to establish mutual trust and […]