Uncovering The Secrets Of A Historic Providence Cemetery

Nov 4, 2013

At Rhode Island College an ambitious project is underway. A group of faculty and students is building online tours of the capital city’s historic North Burial Ground.

North Burial Ground in Providence.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island College political science professor Francis Leazes admits he’s hooked on cemeteries. And in his view there is no finer from an historical perspective than Providence’s North Burial Ground on North Main Street.

"It is an historically significant place. We have a Declaration of Independence signer here in Stephen Hopkins. We have artists and writers and musicians and military heroes, enslaved people, poor people, rich people, so it actually captures the feel of the state," said Leazes.

Leazes is one of a group of faculty and students who are creating online tours of North Burial Ground. They’ve already completed one on Civil War soldiers. Tours on law and politics, the women of Rhode Island and an arts and culture walk are in the works. 

So far their research has turned up a memorial to the only Rhode Islander killed at the Alamo, and a monument to Annie Smith Peck, a mountaineer of some repute in her time.  It is estimated that 75- to 100-thousand people are buried at North Burial Ground.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org