Providence in Providence County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
Brown University Slave Trade Memorial
This memorial recognizes Brown University’s connection to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the work of Africans and African-Americans, enslaved and free, who helped build our university, Rhode island, and the nation.
In 2003 Brown President Ruth J. Simmons initiated a study of this aspect of the university’s history.
In the eighteenth century slavery permeated every aspect of social and economic life in Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders dominated the North American share of the African slave trade, launching over a thousand slaving voyages in the century before the abolition of the trade in 1808, and scores of illegal voyages thereafter.
Brown University was a beneficiary of this trade.
Erected 2014 by Brown University.
Location. 41° 49.595′ N, 71° 24.255′ W. Marker is in Providence, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Marker can be reached from Prospect Street. Touch for map. Memorial and marker are located in Brown University's Main Green, between the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and the Hope College dormitory. The marker is a stone plinth installed near the walkway. Marker is in this post office area: Providence RI 02912, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Hope College (within shouting distance of this marker); University Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Brown Bear (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Horace Mann (about 500 feet away); Stephan Hopkins (about 800 feet away); Congdon Street Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pembroke College Tribute (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bethel A.M.E. Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Providence.
Also see . . .
1. Brown University Dedicates its Slavery Memorial.
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 27, 2014, more than 300 University guests assembled on the Front Green for the dedication of the Slavery Memorial, a work by the American sculptor Martin Puryear. Puryear’s memorial evokes a ball and broken chain, fashioned of cast iron, sinking into the Earth. The ends of the broken link are finished to a mirror-like surface, reflecting sky, sun, trees, life. (Submitted on August 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Brown University’s Debt to Slavery.
The Committee on Slavery and Justice, composed of faculty, students and administrators, found that some 30 members of Brown’s governing board owned or captained slave ships, and donors sometimes contributed slave labor to help in construction. The Brown family owned slaves and engaged in the slave trade, although one (Submitted on August 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. In iron and stone, Brown University acknowledges slave ties.
Rhode Island’s Colonial-era economy was heavily dependent on slave trading; a handful of wealthy Rhode Islanders, including members of the Brown family, dominated the so-called “Triangle Trade” in rum, slaves and molasses; slave-owning was widespread in Rhode Island and other New England states during the 18th and early 19th centuries; and several of the university’s early supporters, including its founder, the Rev. James Manning, and its first treasurer, John Brown, were slave owners. (Submitted on August 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Colonial Era •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 106 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 25, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.