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Ask Roger at the Captain Wilbur Kelly House

Life in New England was very different 350 years ago. Many things would seem almost alien to us, yet other things would be quite familiar. And here in Rhode Island . . . things are always a little bit different. Let’s face it, we were founded by an outlaw and have held the same respect […]

Time of Anarchy: Indigenous Power and the Crisis of Colonialism in Early America

In 1675, eastern North America descended into chaos. Virginia exploded into civil war, as rebel colonists decried the corruption of planter oligarchs and massacred allied Indians. Maryland colonists, gripped by fears that Catholics were conspiring with enemy Indians, rose up against their rulers. Separatist movements and ethnic riots swept through New York and New Jersey. […]

Bristol Historical Book Club discusses Jill Lepore's "The Name of War"

Ten people gathered at the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society on August 28, 2022 for a Book Club discussion of The Name of War by Jill Lepore. Led by Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator Dr. David Weed (on the far right in the photo from a previous Book Club event), the group shared their reactions to the […]

Point Heritage Development Consultants visit the Sowams Heritage Area

The goal of the Sowams Heritage Area Project is to ensure that the ancestral seat of the Pokanoket Nation is designated by the U.S. Congress as a National Heritage Area (NHA), “where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape.” Under the auspices of the U.S. Park Service, the National […]

Sowams painting now on display at the George Hail Library in Warren

A large painting of “A Visit to Massasoit’s Winter Village, Pokanoket in Sowams, c. Fall, 1620” by Ruth Major is now on display at the George Hail Library in downtown Warren, RI. The painting was commissioned by the Warren Preservation Society using a gift from the Idalia C. Whitcomb Charitable Trust. The historical painting scene […]

The Contradictions Behind America’s Oldest July Fourth Celebration

From the July 5, 2022 edition of the Saturday Evening Post, by Ben Railton Bristol is intertwined with the even more foundational American history of violence through its role in the brutal late 17th century conflict between the English and the Wampanoag known as King Philip’s War. Long before English settlers arrived in the region, it was […]

Proposal to place historical Wampanoag leader on new state seal gets cool reception

By Adam Reilly WGBH.org, July 19, 2022 The special commission charged with reimagining the Massachusetts state seal is balking at a proposal to feature Ousamequin — the Wampanoag leader whose aid to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony is memorialized by the holiday of Thanksgiving — in any redesign. The idea of using the image of Ousamequin, who was known to […]

Cruel or courageous? A new reading of Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative

Many Americans learn about Mary Rowlandson in high school. Her tale of traveling with Indigenous people as a prisoner in 1676, during King Philip’s War, is still read in US high schools and colleges. Far fewer Americans know about Weetamoo, the Pocasset saunkskwa with whom Rowlandson travelled, who did all that bravery and humanity could […]

PointHDC chosen to consult on the Sowams feasibility study process

Point Heritage Development Consulting, LLC (PointHDC) has been chosen by the Sowams Heritage Area Project Steering Committee to consult on the Sowams Heritage Area Project feasibility study starting in July, 2022. The purpose of the study is to thoroughly ascertain the feasibility of the project first, before taking any further steps. The Committee evaluated the […]