Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Independent Man gets noticed

The Independent Man (at the Warwick Mall)
Originally uploaded by NetParrot

Sure, I posted about the Independent Man before.

Well, not the original, but the replica at the Warwick Mall. One Valerie Mockaitis wrote to me on Flickr and asked for permission to use my photos of the replica of the Independent Man taken at the mall for use on her State Capitols website.

Permission granted, Valerie. You did a fine editing job as well (my original photos do not show the entire statue in one frame - it looks like she cut and pasted my photos together to get the top of the spear into one picture). I should ask her for permission to use the edited version of my photos!

Her synopsis of the Independent Man mostly accurate. The original idea was to put a statue of Roger Williams on the top of the state house, but nobody can agree on exactly what he looked like. Therefore, an abstraction of the concept of the founding of Rhode Island was settled on, with the Independent Man representing Rhode Island's notoriously contrarian political and independence minded spirit.

Furthermore, I notice an additional error in Valerie's write up: Roger Williams was not the "co-founder" of Rhode Island, he was the founder period. It was Williams who secured Rhode Island's charter from King James II of England in 1643, and Williams who secured the deal with the Narragansetts to secure the territory that would become today's Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

I know, I know: Anne Hutchinson gets a lot of buzz lately as a sort of colonial American feminist icon, but beyond establishing the town of Portsmouth, her impact on the creation, formation and direction of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was decidedly negligible. Hutchinson moved on from Aquidneck Island and wound up in the Bronx, where she died after being scalped by the natives. Such is the horror of spurning Rhode Island for New York - let this be a lesson to us all.

Quibbling aside, Valerie's site is quite interesting. If you have any interest in our nation's state capitol buildings, I highly recommend taking a look.

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