Historic Interests

Quaker Document
A fine-printed broadside document (JPG) was recently found by Town Clerk Louis P. Cirillo while researching a set of 18th Century Town archives for a grant proposal.

The broadside, issued by the Rhode Island General Assembly and initiated by the Society of Friends in 1788, essentially condemns the illicit slave trade.

According to records in the State of Rhode Island Archives, Providence Printer Bennett Wheeler was contracted to print 40 copies of the document and each city and town in Rhode Island was to receive its own copy.

Typically, broadsides would have been posted by the Town for public inspection. This particular document does not appear to have ever been displayed, likely due to the sensitive nature of its message. It was found among some probate court documents from the 1780s.

The Rhode Island Historical Society reports that there are only 4 other known copies of this interesting document. Those copies are found at the Library of Congress, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and the Rhode Island Historical Society. The Rhode Island Historical Society has 2 copies.
Quaker Document - 1788