Download Full Text (7.3 MB)


The article offers a brief historical examination of Federal Hill from its foundation at the end of the 18th century by Amos Atwell and others, to the mid 1800s when a wave of Irish immigrants settled in the area. Pictures of Federal Hill architecture and insight are also included.

Document Type



This is part one of a multipart article. Only part one is available.

Rights Management

This object from the Joseph Muratore Collection, housed by the Rhode Island College Special Collections, and any of its digital surrogates may be protected by copyright. The copyright status and/or the copyright owner of this object is unknown or undetermined. This content must be used in accordance with United States copyright law, which may require you to obtain permissions. Use of these materials for research and educational purposes may be covered by Fair Use. Please contact with any questions. All uses must include appropriate attribution.


In the 1780's, most of Federal Hill was still open fields - a place for the cows to graze on, overlooking the great salt cove to the north and the east, and there were marshes to the south, (now, South Providence), and the wild open spaces were to the west.

In 1788, Amos Maine Atwell (named after a ancestory who owned the entire Province of Maine) and several other businessmen formed a syndicate (a type of corporation) to improve and develop the West side of the city of Providence.

The Landmarks of Federal Hill: Amos Atwell, businessman and leader