People, Places, Laws, and Lore of the Ocean State
Patrick T. Conley
This volume contains forty-six essays on various subjects and of varying lengths by Rhode Island’s first Historian Laureate, Patrick T. Conley. The beginning section (“People”) contains not only profiles of individuals, but also profiles of Rhode Island’s major immigrant groups. Part Two (“Places”) provides vignettes of neighborhoods, institutions, and historic homes and sites, especially those in Providence and Bristol, the communities where the author resided for most of his life. Part Three (“Laws”) deals mainly with the state constitution in all its ramifications and with state statutes that have provoked either controversy or acclaim when enacted. Part Four (“Lore”) contains a potpourri of short essays on such topics as the relationship of George Washington and John F. Kennedy with Rhode Island, slavery in the Ocean State, and the author’s long battle with the Providence Journal.
These chapters are not dry history. Conley’s point of view is always evident and cogently expressed; and it is always based upon historical fact. One of the doctor’s essays a day will keep boredom away.