Tag: Explorers & Adventurers

James Allen

James Allen (1824-1897) a native of Barrington, became the pioneer American balloonist when he made the first of over 150 ascensions in 1856.  The “Zephyrus,” the first of his fifteen balloons, rose three-and-a-quarter miles over Providence from a vacant lot at the present site of City Hall. When the Civil War began, Allen and his

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Dr. Robert D. Ballard

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the Lusitania, the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. While those

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Dr. Robert D Billington

Growing up, he just wanted to become a drummer. However, a new journey to reclaim a post-industrial valley, reveal its history, clean up its river, and build an understanding of events that changed the course of America was about to unfold. Bob built an organization and organized communities to bring back the Blackstone Valley from

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Billie Ann Burrill

World-class master’s athlete, coach, sports administrator, and indefatigable worker for the performing arts in Rhode Island, Billie Ann Burrill’s talents have known no bounds. While she was director of the Health and Physical Education Department at Rhode Island College, her drive and enthusiasm enabled the school’s Performing Arts Series to become the finest in the state.

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Giovanni DaVerrazzano

Giovanni da Verrazzano, 1485-1528, was an Italian explorer and navigator who sailed in service of France. In 1524 he crossed the Atlantic and explored Narragansett Bay. He gave our state its name.

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John DeWolf II

John DeWolf II, 1779-1872, of the noted Bristol family, also known as “Norwest John”, was a mariner who left Bristol aboard the Juno on August 13, 1804, before rounding Cape Horn and sailing northward to acquire furs along the Pacific Coast. After accumulating a full cargo of pelts, DeWolf sailed to Sitka in Russian Alaska

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Captain Robert Gray

Captain Robert Gray, 1755-1806 was a sea captain and explorer. This Tiverton native commanded the Columbia from 1789-1793, a vessel on which he became the first American to circumnavigate the globe in 1789. Shortly after this feat he set sail again from his home port of Boston to the Oregon Country, and this voyage he

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Sam Patch

Patch, Sam, 1807-1829 Sam Patch was born in North Reading, Massachusetts, one of six children produced by the stormy union of Samuel Greenleaf Patch and Abigail McIntire Patch. Following several family moves to northeastern Massachusetts towns, the Patches arrived in the mill village of Pawtucket at the falls of the Blackstone in 1807. Shortly after

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Annie Smith Peck

Peck, Annie S. (Annie Smith), 1850-1935 Annie Smith Peck was born on October 19, 1850 in a two story house at 865 North Main Street in Providence. She lived with her parents and three brothers in a home that her grandfather had built. Her mother traced the family’s roots to Roger Williams the founder of

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Edward Payson Weston

Edward Payson, 1839″1929, one of Rhode Island’s most colorful native sons, was born in Providence on March 15, 1839. His father, Silas Weston, was at one time a school teacher and at another a publisher and the editor of a semi-monthly paper entitled The Pupil’s Mentor. Edward’s mother, Maria Gaines, was a talented writer who

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Abraham Whipple

Abraham Whipple,1733-1819, from Providence, was a renowned privateersman and naval officer. An ally of the Brown family, he directed the raid of the Gaspee and commanded the U.S. Navy’s first ship, Providence, in several successful encounters with the British.

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