Inductees from 1999

  1. William Barton

    William Barton (1748-1831)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Military

    William Barton, 1748-1831, of Warren and Providence, was a colonel in the Revolutionary army whose most notable exploit was to lead a daring raid in July, 1777 to seize General Richard Prescott, commander of the British forces occupying Aquidneck Island. In 1790 as a staunch Federalist, Barton served as a prominent delegate to the convention that ratified the federal Constitution. Read more >

  2. Burton L. "Buster" Bonoff

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Famous RI Families, Theater

    Burton "Buster" Bonoff of Phoenix, Arizona and West Warwick was a legendary entertainment entrepreneur who founded the famed Warwick Musical Theatre (WMT), in Warwick, R.I. in 1955. He also served as its general manager and as a promoter of major entertainment talent in Rhode Island and elsewhere for over forty years. Read more >

  3. Joseph Brown

    Joseph Brown (1733-1785)

    Categories: Architects & Designers, Business / Entrepreneurs, Education & Universities, Famous RI Families, Technology & Science

    Joseph Brown, 1733-1785, was one if the five famous Brown brothers of 18th century Providence. He was a successful entrepreneur, a respected scientist and astronomer, as well as an accomplished architect whose buildings include the First Baptist Church, the Providence Market House, University Hall and the John Brown House.

    Photo of Joseph Brown House by Chet Smolski, Rhode Island College.Read more >

  4. Moses Brown

    Moses Brown (1738-1836)

    Categories: Business / Entrepreneurs, Civil Rights / Abolitionists, Education & Universities, Famous RI Families, Founders of Rhode Island, Industry - Textiles, Religion & Churches

    Moses Brown, 1738-1836, the youngest of the five Brown brothers was a Providence civic leader, entrepreneur, sponsor of Samuel Slater, and prominent Quaker abolitionist. Moses Brown was also a founder of the Providence Athaneum and Moses Brown School. Read more >

  5. Beatrice O. "Happy" Chace

    Categories: Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation

    The late Beatrice O. "Happy" Chace, formerly of Providence, a co-founder of the Providence Preservation Society who provided, on her own initiative, the impetus to restore an important part of Providence's historic College Hill neighborhood. Her generosity and commitment helped make the Benefit Street section in particular, and the preservation movement nationwide the successes they are today. Read more >

  6. Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci, Jr. (1941-2016)

    Categories: Government & Politics, Philanthropists

    The late Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci of Providence was a popular six-term mayor of Providence brought the capital city nationwide recognition as a Renaissance City. An outspoken champion of the all-encompassing revitalization of downton Providence, he received widespread credit for his support of the arts, urban revitalization, public safety, educational, employment and housing needs. Read more >

  7. Brian W. Dickinson (1938-2002)

    Categories: Literature / Writers / Newspapers

    Brian W. Dickinson of Warwick was a prominent editorial columnist for The Providence Journal and continued to write meaningful columns while battling the debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly associated with Lou Gherig. Dickinson's courage and perseverance to maintain his outstanding writing in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles, have been an inspiration to all of us. Read more >

  8. William Ellery

    William Ellery (1727-1820)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics, Law / Legal Pioneers

    William Ellery, 1727-1820, of Newport was one of two Rhode Island signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was also an attorney, a Congressman, a leading Federalist and long-time collector of customs in Newport. Read more >

  9. Christopher Greene

    Christopher Greene (1737-1781)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Military

    Christopher Greene, 1737-1781, of Warwick, was a Revolutionary War hero and Colonel of the famous "Black Regiment." Greene, a veteran of many campaigns starting with the ill-fated march to Quebec in 1775, met death in a Tory ambush in May of 1781.

    Lincoln, James Sullivan, "Col. Christopher Greene," John Hay Library, Brown University, 1863. Read more >

  10. Jonathan Hazard

    Jonathan Hazard (1744-1825)

    Categories: Government & Politics

    Jonathan Hazard, 1744-1825, of Charlestown, was the driving force behind the creation of the Country Party in 1785, a protest movement designed to safeguard the interests of Rhode Island farmers. Hazard, a noted orator, served in the General Assembly and the Confederation Congress and led the AntiFederaliist opposition to the Constitution while defending states rights. Read more >

  11. Halsey C. Herreshoff (1933-)

    Categories: Craftsmen, Famous RI Families, Sports - Other

    Halsey C. Herreshoff of Bristol, is an internationally renowned yachtsman, acclaimed America's Cup competitor, and successful Naval Architect. He is the founder and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum, which includes the America's Cup Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent designer, widely recognized civic leader, author, lecturer, businessman, and longtime promoter of maritime history. Read more >

  12. Rev. Samuel Hopkins

    Rev. Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803)

    Categories: Civil Rights / Abolitionists, Religion & Churches

    Reverend Samuel Hopkins, 1721-1803, of Newport, was a Congregational theologian and reformer. As pastor of Newport's First Congregational Church Hopkins preached his doctrine of "disinterested benevolence" which led him to embrace the antislavery cause. His impact on 19th-century abolitionist thought was significant. Read more >

  13. Rev. Joseph L. Lennon, O.P. (1919-2011)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Religion & Churches

    Reverend Joseph L. Lennon, O.P., of Providence was a a member of the Dominican Friars (Order of Preachers) of the Eastern Province of St. Read more >

  14. Rev. James Manning

    Rev. James Manning (1738-1791)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Religion & Churches


    Manning, James, 1738-1791

    Baptist clergyman and founding president of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), was born in Elizabeth Township, New Jersey. He attended Hopewell Academy, a Baptist grammar school, and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). In 1764, after ordination as a Baptist minister, Manning and his wife Margaret Stiles, moved to Warren, Rhode Island, where he founded a Latin school and a Baptist church. 

    When the region's Baptists decided, after much debate and controversy, to establish a college in Warren, they obtained a charter from the General Assembly in 1764. Read more >

  15. Henry Marchant

    Henry Marchant (1741-1796)

    Categories: Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics

    Henry Marchant1741-1796 from Newport and South Kingstown, was a well-educated intellectual and a protege of Ezra Stiles. Marchant, a prominent attorney, was an ardent Son of Liberty, a delegate to the Continental Congress, a leading Federalist and Rhode Island's first federal district judge. Read more >

  16. Mayor Thomas P. McCoy (1883-1945)

    Categories: Government & Politics

    The late Thomas P. McCoy,1883-1945, formerly of Pawtucket was a lifelong Mayor of that city whose colorful political career dominated the area's political scene for many years. Undisputed leader of the city's Democratic Party, he compiled a distinguished ten-year record in the Rhode Island House of Representatives during the 1920s. Dubbed "the Prince of Pawtucket," his name is affixed to the famed McCoy Stadium. Read more >

  17. Col. Stephen Olney

    Col. Stephen Olney (1756-1832)

    Categories: Famous RI Families, Founders of Rhode Island, Military

    Colonel Stephen Olney, 1756-1832, of North Providence, was a leader of the Second Rhode Island Regiment attaining the rank of Colonel. He fought in numerous campaigns from Bunker Hill to Yorktown. Olney is credited with saving the life of future President James Monroe at the Battle of Princeton, and he was a close and respected colleague of General Lafayette. Read more >

  18. Aram J. Pothier

    Aram J. Pothier (1854-1928)

    Categories: Civic Leaders, Education & Universities, Government & Politics

    The late Aram J. Pothier, 1854-1928, formerly of Woonsocket, who died in 1928 while serving his seventh term as governor. Among his many accomplishments were establishing the Department of the State Police and the Public Utilities Commission and starting commercial development of Narragansett Bay. A prominent banker, he was also a Mayor of Woonsocket and a major force for its business development. Read more >

  19. Silas Talbot

    Silas Talbot (1751-1813)

    Categories: Government & Politics, Military

    Silas Talbot, 1751-1813, of Providence, was versatile and courageous military hero who distinguished himself as both an army colonel and as a highly successful naval captain and privateersman during the American Revolution. Later in life he served as a Congressman from New York and as a Commander of the frigate Constitution during the Quasi-war with France in 1798. Read more >

  20. Haig Varadian (1926-2007)

    Categories: Education & Universities, Sports - Other

    Haig Varadain of Cranston was an educational, athletic and civic leader who served his city's school system as teacher, coach and administrator for 50 years. His expertise in the sport of wrestling is legendary and Varadain was the Director Emeritus of the R.I. Interscholastic Wrestling League and recognized internationally in the sport. Read more >

  21. James Mitchell Varnum

    James Mitchell Varnum (1748-1789)

    Categories: Government & Politics, Military

    James Mitchell Varnum, 1748-1789, of Warwick was a distinguished Revolutionary War General, a founder of the Kentish Guards, and a prominent attorney who was an early expounder of the doctrine of judicial review. He died at age 41 in Marietta, Ohio while serving as one of the first judges in the Northwest Territory. Read more >

  22. Abraham Whipple

    Abraham Whipple (1733-1819)

    Categories: Explorers & Adventurers, Famous RI Families, Founders of Rhode Island, Government & Politics, Military

    Abraham Whipple,1733-1819, from Providence, was a renowned privateersman and naval officer. An ally of the Brown family, he directed the raid of the Gaspee and commanded the U.S. Navy's first ship, Providence, in several successful encounters with the British. Read more >



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