Though the first burial didn’t take place until 1711, the North Burial Ground is the location where early Providence settler Chad Brown was reburied following his death in 1650.
Prior to 1700, colonists buried their dead in family graveyards that haphazardly peppered the Providence landscape. As Providence’s townspeople sought more efficient use of land, the tradition of family graveyards declined and the Burial Ground saw more interments.
Cemetery employee Tony Medeiros points to the gravestone of Rev. Chad Brown (Click on it for a larger photo.). In 1639, Rev. Chad Brown assumed the leadership of the First Baptist Church in America (pictured below), which had been briefly pastored by Roger Williams.
During Brown’s pastorship, the church worshipped in a grove or orchard and in the houses of its members, and he remained pastor until his death sometime before 1650. His remains were initially interred near the corner of College and Benefit Streets, but they were moved in 1792 to the North Burying Ground