Bristol, Rhode Island is the sire town in the smallest county in the smallest state. Originally part of Plymouth Colony, Bristol Harbor was the most important seaport of the colony. Few realize that Bristol’s harbor was once the fourth busiest seaport in the country. Its harbor is deep and until the twentieth-century accommodated deep-hulled merchant vessels and the grand passenger steamers of the Fall River Line.
Within Bristol’s borders are found the finest collection of late-eighteenth and early nineteenth-century municipal buildings and private residences in the state. Founded in 1680 as a commercial venture by four wealthy Boston investors, the town’s prosperity has grown through various endeavours, from the nefarious Atlantic slave trade to boat building, manufacturing, and exports during its more than three centuries.
In this book, author Richard V. Simpson regales the reader with compelling stories of the lives and times of the town’s colourful inhabitants, their estates, and their adventures during the Revolution and privateering during the War of 1812.
Richard V. Simpson is a native Rhode Islander who has always lived within walking distance to Narragansett Bay, first in the Edgewood section of Cranston and then in Bristol, where he has lived since 1960. A graphic designer by trade, he worked in advertising, printing, display, and textile design studios. After retiring in 1996 from a twentynine-year federal civil service career with the U.S. Navy Supply Center and Naval Undersea Warfare Center, he began a second career as an author of books on subjects of historical interest in Rhode Island’s East Bay with his principal focus on Bristol. Beginning in 1985, Richard acted as a contributing editor for the national monthly Antiques & Collecting Magazine in which eighty-five of his articles have appeared.
His 1989 Independence Day: How the Day is Celebrated in Bristol, Rhode Island is the singular authoritative book on the subject; his many anecdotal Fourth of July articles have appeared in the local Bristol Phoenix and the Providence Journal. His history of Bristol’s Independence Day celebration is the source of a story in the July 1989 Yankee Magazine and July 4, 2010 issue of Parade Magazine.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Illustrations: 112 colour