Walking the Post Road

View of Pawtuxet Harbor from Pawtuxet River Bridge, boundary between Cranston and Warwick Rhode Island and initial boundary between Providence and the Narragansett territory, agreed upon by Roger Williams in 1636.

“For we are all Indians as the English are, and say brother to one another; so we must be one as they are, otherwise we shall all be gone shortly...these English have gotten our land, with their scythes cut down the grass, and with the axes fell the trees; their cows and horses eat the grass, and their hogs spoil our clam banks, and we shall all be starved.”

Miantonomi, Narragansett sachem, summer 1642. Quoted in Neal Salisbury’s Manitou and Providence.


1. William R. Carlton, “Overland to Connecticut in 1645: A Travel Diary of John Winthrop, Jr.,” New England Quarterly 13 (September, 1940): 494-511, passim.

2.  William G. McLoughlin, Rhode Island: A Bicentennial History (New York: W.W. Norton, 1978), 14.

3. Ibid., 32-34, passim.

4. Ibid., 56.

5. Ibid., 90.

6. Ibid., 15-18, passim.

7. Ibid., 45.

8. I also extensively consulted Neal Salisbury, Manitou and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New England, 1500-1643 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982) in the preparation of this article.

9. For those of you ill disposed to rants about the treatment of Indians I have bad news; I will return to this subject again when I reach Charlestown, Rhode Island, and again in Southeastern Connecticut. I may even return to it as I reach New York. I do not want my project to be merely a travel guide which sings the praises of America at every turn. While a major theme in this project is that by slowing down and paying attention one can find interesting and amazing things in every town, I do not want to gloss over negative aspects I encounter in these same towns, whether traffic, pollution, overdevelopment, poverty, or historical injustices. To do otherwise would be unfair to the people and places I visit.

Distance Covered in this entry: 0 miles

Total Distance covered in Rhode Island: 49.8 miles

Total Distance Covered for this Project: 118.6 miles