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The Providence Pictures

Published in The Journal of American History Volume VIII, No. II, 1913.

Descriptive Notes of the Water Colors, Written by the Artist, Edward Lewis Peckham, and by his nephew, Stephen Farnum Peckham, Through Whom These Views of Providence Before 1850 Have Been Secured for Permanent Pictorial Record in The Journal of American History.

The Old Town House

It stood on the southwest corner of College and Benefit Streets, and was torn down in 1860. The oldest inhabitant of Providence then living could not remember when its appearance has been different. It was built in 1723, as a place of worship for the Benevolent Congregational Society, which, after occupying it for that purpose for about seventy years, sold it in 1795 to the city for a Town House, and built for themselves a more pretentious edifice, which was destroyed by fire in 1814, on the site now occupied by the beautiful church on the corner of Benevolent and Benefit Streets.

If given a tongue, the old Town House could have poured forth much of the oratory that incited to the Revolution; and all the Algerine oratory of the Dorr Rebellion. It was a place of refuge for all the heterodox sects that came to Providence for a hundred years; for these, not allowed a hearing in the orthodox churches permission to set forth their doctrines in the Town House.

The site on which it stood is now occupied by the Providence County Court House opposite the Athenaeum.

The Old Town House was at one time used as the Police Office and as a place where the lower Courts were held.

Fort Hill From India Point

This represents a part of India Point, looking south. The long, low building in the centre was used as a bowling alley, and kept by a Mr. Adams.

City of Rousville, R. I

A burlesque representation of a spot on the shore of Old Warwick Cove, that was called “The City of Rousville.” It was near the present “Buttonwoods,” and was the place where a Club, of which the artist, Edward Lewis Peckham, was a member, went to enjoy their clambakes and chowders. The original drawing was etched on copper.

Red Bridge Looking East From Up the River

From a drawing made in pencil, March 23, 1832

Slate Rock and Watcheer Cove from the Bluff

Sketched in pencil, March 21, 1832, from the bluff above the Rock.

Kettle Point and the Armington Place

Drawn in pencil May 1, 1832. The Armington Place was the home of a well-known family of Providence.