Historical RI documents found during Earl preps
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Preparations for Hurricane Earl cleared the way for a valuable discovery in Providence, Rhode Island.
Five floors below City Hall's dome in Providence, in a dark corner of the basement, a team from the Archives Department made a big discovery.
“We thought we had found everything down there but life is full of surprises I guess and we came across quite a surprise,” said Paul Campbell, a city archivist.
As Hurricane Earl barreled up the East Coast workers searched for boxes to protect them from any potential flooding.
In one of those boxes, they were shocked to find the original minutes from some of the city's earliest town meetings.
“These are the unedited, early records, the original records of these town meetings that showed in detail the operations of town government back again, just after the American Revolution,” said Campbell.
Dozens of water-damaged boxes held thousands of pages of historical documents, including a manuscript logging the vote of early settlers to approve the city charter back in 1831.
“It records the transformation of a small town into a manufacturing city. Just a remarkable find and something we're going to work hard to preserve,” said Campbell.
The documents will now be placed in acid-free folders and boxes, and will be catalogued for historians and researchers to review.
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