Block Island, Rhode Island

History of Block Island, Rhode Island, by S. T. Livermore (Bridgewater, Mass, 1877), 371 pages. Digital Edition on CD-ROM © February 2005.

Though its inhabitants have never been very numerous (except, perhaps, during tourist season, and then mostly in the Twentieth Century), Block Island has played a somewhat larger role in American history than might be expected of a remote coastal island.  The first full-fledged war waged against natives by English settlers in New England (the Pequot War) began in 1636, when John Gallup (an ancestor of our Digital Editions editor) discovered natives of Block Island (the Manisseans) aboard the derelict ship of his friend, Captain John Oldham.  They (the Indians), presumably, had murdered this Boston trader and his crew.

Livermore devoted much of his history to an account of Manisseans and, especially,  their run-in with Captain Oldham.  The volume has no table of contents -- and we have not chosen to construct one in this digital edition, except to list the Chapters and major subtitles here:  Block Island (Discovery, Names, Possession, Purchase and Settlement, Location, Surface and Soil), Resources of Block Island (Peat and Timber, Seaweed, Fisheries, Boats, Mails), Block Island Indians (The Manisseans, Oldham's Murder, Their Subjugation, Wars Among Themselves, Hot-Houses, Enslaved, Disappearing, Church Family, Their Religion), Block Island Hostilities (With the Indians, With the French, the Revolution, the Refugees, the War of 1812), Wrecks and Wrecking (The Palatine, the Palatine Light, Modern Wrecks, Wrecking), The Harbor (Great Pond Harbor, the Pier, the New Pier, Pole Harbor, Government Harbor, Incidents), Topography (the Ponds, the West Side, the East Side, the Corn Neck, the Center), Miscellaneous (the Pound, Crows and Blackbirds, Poultry, Sheep, Hidden Treasure, Christmas Tree, the Houses, the Stores, the Carriages, the Roads, Horseback Riding, Population, Societies, Physicians, Lawyers, 1875 Census, Boat Building, Mechanical), The Mills (Indian Mortars, Wooden Mortars, the Hand Mills, Windmills, the Sands Mill), Public Buildings (Light Houses, Life Saving Stations, Meeting Houses, Hotels), Rapid Improvement (First Steamboat Excursions, Schools, Library, Music, Trees, Summer Visitors), Civil Polity (A Miniature Democracy, Town Officers, Revolutionary Period, Minister's Lot), Churches, Inhabitants (Captain James Sands and Descendants, Simon Ray and Descendants, Thomas Terry, John Rathbone, Rev. Samuel Niles, Angell, Ball, Briggs, Champlin, Dickins, Dodge, Guthridge, Hull, Littlefield, Lewis, Mitchell, Mott, John Oldham, Rose, Sheffield, Tosh, Wright, Peculiar and Pitiable, Paupers).

A thirteen-page update on the occasion of the Island's Tercentenary (1961) includes a bibliography.

The Digital Edition: Complete with two text files (1.4 Mb) and 2 image files (maps) in GIF and JPEG format (3.7 Mb)

Enhancements: "Quick Links" to access image files.  The index (brief as it is) is published separately to aid in navigation.

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