Jamestown RI History - Sources and References

This narrative history of Jamestown and its environs was compiled by David A. Butler with the help of numerous published and unpublished sources.  The following resources have been particularly helpful in this effort. They make good starting points for those interested in more in-depth coverage of these topics.

History - General:

Historic and Architectural Resources of Jamestown, Rhode Island. This extremely valuable book on Jamestown and its environs was published in 1995 by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission in cooperation with the Jamestown Historical Society. Much of the book - about 30% - is now available on the web. The full book costs $15 (softcover) and can be purchased in several local stores.

Jamestown Affairs: A Miscellany of Historical Flashbacks. Written by Sue Maden and Patrick Hodgkin and published by the West Ferry Press, Jamestown. The book is available in local stores for a cost of $18. It is a collection of articles published in the Jamestown Press between 1992 and 1996 which focused on particular aspects of Jamestown's long history.

Many of the links in this history of the Jamestown and Newport area take you to chapters from Stuart Hale's 1979 book, Narragansett Bay: A Friend's Perspective which was reprinted in 1999.

The Naval History of Rhode Island website focuses on the centuries-long association between the Navy and the Narragansett Bay region; which is considered to be the birthplace of the U.S. Navy.

The extensive (and still growing) collection of historic Jamestown postcards and Newport postcards, with commentary, assembled by Susan White Pieroth contains many additional historic photographs of homes, hotels, other buildings, bridges and ferries.

History - Native Americans:

Narragansett History, by Lee Sultzman, traces local Native American history from the early 1600s - when there were as many as 10,000 members of the Narragansett tribe. By 1676, after King Philip's War (1675-1676), only about 500 Narragansett remained to sign a treaty with the English. In 1880, the State of Rhode Island unilaterally terminated the tribal status of the Narragansetts and their ownership of almost all of their reservation near Charlestown. In 1978 a lawsuit restored the tribe's status and land. The Narragansett tribe now numbers about 2500. Here is the link to their tribal history narrative.

History of Jamestown Military Installations:

Defenses of Narragansett Bay in World War II (Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation, 1980, ninth printing 2002), Walter K. Schroder

Images of America: Dutch Island and Fort Greble (Arcadia Publishing, 1998), Walter K. Schroder

(See also the above-mentioned  Naval History of Rhode Island website.)

Rhode Island Forts - Short descriptions of military forts past and present including information on Jamestown's Prospect Hill Fort, Beaver Tail Fort, Beaver Head/ Conanicut Battery, Fort Conanicut, Fort Weatherill, Fort Burnside, Fort Getty, Fort Greble and Fort Kearny. Many of these were known by additional names at various times. (Two distinct web pages, each with its own index at the top,  focusing on older and more modern fortifications)

Beavertail in military readiness.  A photo from  Rhode Island light stations, a US Coast Guard website listing current and former RI light stations.  Each brief history and technical data summary is accompanied by an historic photo (or two) that are often one-of-a-kind photos taken during periods of military activity at the site (WW-I and WW-II).

Rhode Island History - Other Resources:

For a comprehensive listing of repositories of historical information see the Rhode Island Historical Advisory Board website. It provides a summary description of holdings by State and Local Government Agencies, Academic Libraries and Archives, Historical and Preservation Societies, Public and Private Libraries and Museums and information on contacting each holding organization.

Glaciation and Climate Change - Causes and Effects:

If you have not already done so, please visit the detailed account of local (Rhode Island and New England) geological history.

This group of references focus on the earth's history, with emphasis on continental movement over time and the tools and techniques used to establish timelines for the various parts of the world.

These references focus on local geological processes and topics.

These references deal with glaciation.

Dr. Micheal J. Pidwerny, Department of Geology, Okanagan University College, British Columbia, Canada has developed a course entitled "Fundamentals of Physical Geography". His extensive, highly readable online textbook includes the following topics.

If you are interested in learning more about glaciation, a Hypertext Reference for Major Topics in Glaciology and Glacial Geology may be right for you. Developed by Dr. William W. Locke, Geology Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT; this site employs a menu that leads to discussions of a dozen major topics - each presented at both an introductory and advanced level. This arrangement allows easy movement between topics and facilitates exploring at the level that best meets your needs. To sample the type of information in the database, here is the Overview page.

This reference is something of a bridge to the last group of references. It focuses on climate changes in the past and some of the implications for understanding the present and future.

Dr. R. Timothy Patterson, Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada offers a web-based course on Climate Change from a Geological Perspective. Material developed for an earlier course is posted online and offers extensive coverage of the history of glaciation as part of a rich, systems-oriented look at the history of world climate change. Arranged in slide-show format, it will take an hour or more to view all of the slides; but you will find much information not covered in the other references. If you would like to register for Dr. Patterson's current online course click on this link.

These references look at factors affecting climate change, and the implications for the future. Worried about global warming? Do you suspect the issues are far more complex than the evening news admits? Do you wonder about the possibility of global cooling? Get perspective and facts here.


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