Browse Exhibits (2 total)
This exhibit includes letters, notes, and other documents which paint a portrait of an avid 19th century Spiritualist.
Joseph Peace Hazard (1807-1892) was born into a wealthy Rhode Island family. When he failed in the family's textile manufacturing business, Hazard's family supported him in pursuing his personal interests, which included travel, architecture, and Spiritualism.
Hazard considered himself clairvoyant and clairaudient (capable of seeing and hearing spirits) from a young age, and pursued Spiritualism throughout his life. In his later years, Hazard kept a journal in which he painstakingly recorded instances of his pocket watch "ringing", which he believed to be proof of the presence of his deceased friends and relatives. Hazard also recorded his experiences with the supernatural in personal memoranda and letters to friends. Hazard's experiences include seeing, hearing, and sensing spirits, and communicating with spirits through the movements of a table during a seance.
Hazard's papers are part of the Nathaniel Terry Bacon collection, held by the Special Collections department of Adams Library, Rhode Island College. The digitized documents in this exhibit also may be viewed online at DigitalCommons@RIC.
The feeling of Federal Hill has always been the same. There is a certain attraction because of the fact that we settled here in the early days. I personally always have felt that Federal Hill should be an important place...
I’m willing to state that the future of Federal Hill will be much better than it is now and probably better than it ever was because we are modern. We’re going to improve, we are going to work for it and I as a member of Federal Hill will never never never put Federal Hill down. It is a place to go to.
The title of "A place to go to" comes from an interview collected in the Federal Hill Project within Rhode Island College Special Collections' Ethnic Heritage Studies Project.
Many of these interviews consisted of Italian American and Federal Hill residents either involved or affected by redevelopment that occurred during the 70s and early 80s. This era was preceded by a total recession of cultural and architectural upkeep of Federal Hill. The history of the area was nearly erased.
The interviews not only remind us of this history of Rhode Island's "Little Italy" but its continued existence as both a nostalgic and new community of immigrants. Federal Hill was defined, changed, developed and redeveloped several times in its over-200 year existence. This exhibit examines those shifts and returns to this concept of how Federal Hill has and continues to act as "a place to go to."