THE RHODE ISLAND COLONY by Clifford Lindsey Alderman


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The first, alphabetically, of the Forge of Freedom histories of the thirteen colonies (three others follow in this issue) is also the poorest, containing sweeping statements that won't stand scrutiny and very few precise particulars. It is not true, for instance, that Rhode Island had ""many natural resources"" to start with: arable land was limited and the sea came to the rescue. And it is certainly news that ""Cromwell was a tolerant man in matters of religion."" Where the text isn't mistaken, it's banal: ""They turned out fine, staunch ships (not described) which cruised along the coast and to distant seas (not identified), and the crews who manned them were real sailormen (not imposters?)."" Or worse: ""Since the black people came from Africa, they were used to a hot climate and could work under the broiling sun of these southern regions"" (in explanation of the slave trade, albeit decried). A few individuals figure disproportionately (including Nathaniel Greene, subject of another Alderman book); others, like the mercantile Browns, are ignored completely. However special the subject, there are other books on its various aspects that will serve better even in Rhode Island.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Crowell-Collier