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The John Clarke Society, organized in February 2008 with a Director, three Trustees, and four advisors. Having success with two trial lectures delivered in 2007, the Society went forth with two major events in this founding year; Charter Day on July 8th and John Clarke Day on the 11th and 12th of October.

With great assistance from state senators Theresa Paiva-Weed and June Gibbs, the Society was able to establish a day of commemoration, John Clarke Day, into perpetuity.

As next year will mark the 400th birthday of John Clarke, plans are already being made to make it a banner year. Notwithstanding the 400th, plans are also in progress to continue the John Clarke Lecture Series with a focus on the environment that Rhode Island's earliest settlers encountered. Most peculiarly, adjoining colonists were hostile and the native Indians were friendly.

Paul Robinson Ph.D. will deliver the first lecture. As Rhode Island's senior anthropologist, Professor Robinson has devoted his career to learning about this indigenous population.

Primary Document Sources

The Society is always looking for original sources, particularly documents written to or by John Clarke. If you have knowledge about the location of any such documents, please let us know. They are essential to the development of the Society's virtual library. Primary documents are contemporary sources of information such as the actual letters written by Roger Williams. They are critical to informed research as resources, commentary on primary documents, may have a bias.

Locating and publishing primary documents is therefore an essential objective of the John Clarke Society.

Drawing Room Antiques of Newport contributed a very early edition of John Callender's important work, The Early History of Rhode Island.







New Members

TRUSTEES: The Society now has a full compliment of Trustees as Jasper Smith Ph.D. moves from being an Advisor to Trustee and Terrance Gavin CPA CFP. Jasper, or Jake as he is better known, brings a wealth of academic experience in communications. Terry has now taken over control of the Society's finances as treasurer. For more information on the Society's Trustees please click on more.

ADVISORS: John Clarke Society Advisors proceed through a vetting period to ensure that they will be able to bring consummate growth to the Society. We are pleased to announce that Bernard Fishman Ph.D., Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and Paul Hanson D.Min., pastor of the United (John Clarke Memorial) Baptist Church have been approved by the Trustees and Director. Bernard has already assisted the Society by increasing its outreach to the Providence area and Paul delivered an outstanding talk on the role of early Baptists in passing the torch of democracy from John Clarke to Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Both are gifted speakers. For more information on the Society's Advisors please click on more.

LIFE MEMBERS: The Society is grateful to Les Ballard and David Barker Ford for their substantial contributions to the operating fund. Their donations arrives at a time when banks and other contributing organizations have pulled back as a result of the current Wall Street situation. Our gratitude goes out to fundraiser and Senior Society Advisor Ralph Carpenter for reaching out so effectively.




Claude Levi-Strauss wrote in Overture," sct. 1 (1964):" I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in menís minds without their being aware of the fact."


Listing of Past Events

Listing of John Clarke Society lectures and events.


Make a Contribution

Even if you are already a member, please consider a small contribution and if you are not, please consider joining. Our membership rates are the least expensive of any local non-profit and our events are free and open to the public.

The Society is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization so making a contribution for membership or our operating fund is tax deductible but for $5.00. Join or contribute