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Rhode Island Historical Society.




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The collection of papers left by the late Theodore Foster, now in the possession of the Society, includes many which came from Stephen Hopkins and contains much that is valuable and interesting. Among these papers are the beginnings of a history of the colony, one by Governor Hopkins and the other by Senator Foster, which it has seemed desirable to put into a more accessible and enduring form. The chapters by Hopkins were published by the Massachusetts Historical Society in Vol. IX, 2d series, of their Collections, but it has been thought best to reproduce them here in connection with Foster's design to carry them on. These papers have been carefully edited by Mr. William E. Foster, Librarian of the Providence Public Library, to which he has added a sketch of the life of Theodore Foster. While, as a rule, the collections of the society are not intended to include biographies, except incidentally, yet this one is so comprehensive in research and so illustrates and supplements the papers themselves, that it was deemed by the committee to give completeness to the “Early attempts at Rhode Island History."

The other papers in this volume are selected from those which had been read before the society within a few years prior to the time of making up the contents and which were then available. Of this class of papers some are published elsewhere and some are retained by the authors. Several still remain, however, which, it is hoped will be annotated and prepared for the press in due time.

The thanks of the society are due to each of the gentlemen whose papers appear in this book; not only for their interesting contributions to local history but also for their kindness and trouble in revising their respective papers for publication.

The committee are under especial obligation to Mr. William E. Foster for his valuable assistance in the preparation of the volume.

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