slave trade


The Providence City Council has passed a resolution in support of an effort to memorialize the city’s role in the slave trade. 

As part of a national initiative known as the "Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project,"organizers are working to place historical markers in places involved in the slave trade.

In Rhode Island, the group hopes to call attention to the importance of ports like Providence, where ships launched and fortunes were made in the traffic of human beings.

Newport Historical Society

We continue our series One Square Mile: Narragansett Bay with a look at the bay’s role in the slave trade. Tens of thousands of slaves were traded on ships out of Narragansett Bay, more than any other part of North America.

Newport was at one time the largest slave-trading port in the region. To find out more, Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison met Newport history teacher Matt Boyle at Bannisters Wharf, which was built by a merchant involved in the slave trade. She asked him what it would have looked like in mid-18th Century.

God's Little Acre Kickstarter

Some Newport residents have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to buy a new sign for the African burial cemetery known as “God’s Little Acre.”  The original sign was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011.  The new sign is estimated to cost 55-hundred dollars.

The cemetery is also the subject of a new website.