erection or endowment of an Insane or Lunatic
Hospital, to be located in Providence or its
This sum being insufficient for the erection of
a hospital, Cyrus Butler, Esq. contributed for this
purpose $40,000, wisely coupled with the con-
ditions that $40,000 more should be raised from
other sources, and that of the aggregate amount,
$50,000 should be kept as a reserved fund, the
interest of which only should be used in defray-
ing the expenses of the institution. An appeal
was then made to the public, and nobly responded
to by a subscription of over $57,000, which, to-
gether with interest that subsequently accrued,
swelled the amount of funds to nearly $138,000.
In 1850, the sum of $20,000 was contributed to
the funds of the hospital, by Alexander Duncan,
Esq., of Providence.
In preparing their plans of building, the trus-
tees were desirous of availing themselves of all
the modern improvements, and not only visited
most of the hospitals in New England, but they
engaged the services of Dr. Bell, the superin-
tendent of the McLean Asylum, who was pecu-
liarly fitted by his great practical knowledge of
insanity and the insane, and his correct architect-
ural views, to obtain the information they wished;
and in the early part of the year 1845, he visited
the principal establishments in Europe, and ob-
tained the plans of all the more recently con-
structed buildings. Accompanying his report, he
submitted a plan of building, calculated, in his
opinion, to meet all the requirements of the case,
•in the best possible manner, and embracing, as
far as practicable, all the recent improvements.
This plan, which provides for a greater amount
of space per patient than any other hospital in
the country, was adopted, with some unessential
modifications, and the building was opened for
the admission of patients on the 1st of Decem-
The grounds belonging to the hospital consist
of about 60 acres of tillage, and 55 of native wood-
land, and embrace a great variety of soil and sur-
face. The building stands in a clearing, on the
western bank of the Seekonk River, which here
widens into an expanse of a mile in breadth, and
permits an extensive view of the country beyond.
In every other direction, the eye rests on dense
groves. The soil, to some distance around the
building, is sandy, and affords clean, dry walks
at every season of the year.
Brown University is to the southward and
westward of the Dexter Asylum, on the high
land E. of the river. See Colleges.
The Athenaeum was incorporated in 1836. The
late Hon. Nicholas Brown, and the heirs of the
late Thomas P. Ives, Esq., offered the institution
a suitable lot of land, at the corner of Benefit
and College Streets, and $6000 towards the erec-
tion of a building, and $4000 towards increasing
the library, on condition that other individuals
would give $10,000 towards the building, and
$4000 towards the library. The condition was
complied with, and a spacious and elegant stone
structure was erected on the lot in 1837. The
library consists of about 12,000 volumes, most of
which are books. A reading room is connected
with this establishment. A share in the institu-
tion is limited at $15, and the annual tax to $5
What Cheer '' building, at the junction of
North and South Main Streets, presents as hand-
some a freestone front as any building in New
England. It is' to be occupied by offices,
The Museum building, and Howard Hall, on
Westminster, are fine buildings.
The old Market House stands in Market Square.
It is a brick building, of fair proportions. The
basement and lower stories are occupied for a
market. The second floor contains the offices of
the city government, such as mayor, city clerk,
city treasurer, &c. The third story is owned by
the Ereemasons, and used by them for a hall.
Prejudices are fast accumulating against the old
market. It is an old-fashioned, useful building,
with no pretensions to beauty, and is supposed to
be in the way. The men are now living who will
probably decree its demolition.
Providence has its full share of banking insti-
tutions. See Banks.
The cause of public education in Providence is
well sustained. There are 46 schools maintained
at public expense, employing 105 teachers,
and giving instruction to about 6000 children.
22 of these are primary schools, 16 intermediate,
7 grammar, and 1 high. The amount annually
expended on them is about $40,000, of which
about $10,000 is received from the state.
In addition to these there are upwards of 30
Sunday schools, taught by nearly 500 teachers,
and containing about 5000 scholars.
The Providence Reform School, an institution
for the confinement, instruction, and reformation
of juvenile offenders, and youth of idle, vicious,
or vagrant habits, of from 8 to 18 years, was es-
tablished in 1850.
Its location is the spacious building known as
the Tockwotton House, built originally for a
hotel, and very pleasantly situated on a rise of
ground in the south-easterly part of the city,
overlooking the Narraganset Bay, and sufficiently
large to accommodate from 150 to 200 inmates.
The government of the institution is vested in
a board of trustees, consisting of 6 gentlemen
elected annually by the city council, who, with
the mayor, a member ex officio, constitute the
board; and its immediate management is com-
mitted to a superintendent, who receives his ap-
pointment from this board.
Roger Williams was the founder of Providence.
He came from England to Massachusetts, and
in 1635 was ordained pastor of the church at Sa-
lem. Here he promulgated opinions which the gov-
ernment of the colony of Massachusetts deemed
to be schismatical and heterodox; such as, that
civil government, as such, had no right to punish
its citizens for any violation of duty towards
God, and that the King of England could not
confer on the settlers a valid title to the lands of
the plantation, as against the natives. Being
brought before the Court of Assistants, he justified
his opinions and his conduct, and was sentenced to
banishment; but the execution of the sentence
was postponed until the following spring, (1636.)
In January, (1636,) upon complaint that he had
violated the conditions upon which this post-
ponement was had, the court sent for him, in
order to send him forthwith to England by a ship
then ready to sail. The messenger found that he
had left a sick hed to elude him, and was gone
to seek a home and shelter among the Indians.
His first stopping-place was at Manten's Creek,
in Seekonk, within the colony of New Plymouth.
Here he was joined by his wife and family, and a