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A Historical Perspective on the PettaquamScutt Rock and Narrow River

Rhode Island is full of several natural endowments. Since the time of the native Indians, residents have enjoyed a highly aesthetic and beautiful scenery brought by natural artifacts like the Pettaquamscutt Rock and the Narrow River. These two have their histories, which make them areas of significance to the region. However, millennials and even some of the older population are oblivious to these histories.

As part of our commitment towards promoting the culture and history of the Pettaquamscutt region, this article will be examining the accounts of these two regional symbols.

The Pettaquamscutt Rock


The Pettaquamscutt Rock is a historical symbol in the South Kingston, Rhode Island area of the United States. It represents an era of change in the city. Also known as Treaty rock, it was the scene of treaties between white settlers and local Indians in the 17th century. It was the location where Roger Williams bargained with the Narragansett sachems to allow peaceful co-existence between the white population and the native Indians.

Pettaquamscutt rock is a cliff behind a park, covered with highly sharp quartz nubbins. It’s a source of tourist attraction, where rock climbers have a good time. The Rock is estimated to be about 50 feet high and 40 feet wide, and climbers can get on it from anywhere. It affords an excellent view as it overlooks the Narrow River, another city treasure.

Historical Overview of the Rock

It’s not unusual to see rocks, even large ones in Rhode Island. One might also wonder why the Treaty rock is unique and accorded much importance since it’s not the only big Rock in the area. However, certain factors make the Pettaquamscutt Rock unique. One of them has to do with it serving as a gathering point for the original owners. It’s a point where significant decisions regarding the region materialized.

When English dwellers first came into the country, the land surrounding the Rock, west of the Narragansett Bay, was an open space. The forests were not much and free from bushes and weeds as the local Indians took care of the area by periodically burning over the region. During this time, the Treaty Rock was visible to a great length and easily accessible from the Narrow River. It was a natural meeting place and point of convergence for the Indians.

In March 1638, the English settlers led by Roger Williams bought and obtained confirmation of title to some of the lands from great Indian leaders. On the same day, he bargained with them the agreement through which other notable English settlers like William Coddington, William Dyre, and a host of others acquired the Island of Aquidneck for some significant amount. These purchases made the peaceful settlement of Portsmouth and Newport possible.

Twenty years later, in 1658, the men regarded as the buyers of Pettasquamscutt met at the Rock to strike a deal with the sachems for land traits, which gave English settlers the title to what we now refer to as South Kingston and some parts of Exeter and North Kingston.

The Narrow River

Also known as the Pettaquamscutt River, this water body serves as a naturally-positioned boundary between the Narragansett, South Kingston, and North Kingston towns. It’s estimated to be seven-mile long, connected to some basins fed by a small stream. Although a small section of Rhode Island, the river is a habitat that promotes the rich biodiversity of plant and animal life. Since its establishment in 1970, the NRPA has taken it upon herself to protect it.

The mouth of the river of ideal for swimming and riding boats, but poses a challenge to bigger water vehicles when the tide is low. As you travel along the river, you can see the Pettaquamscutt Rock sitting beautifully on the left. Up north of that is the Cajoot Graphite Mine site.

The Narrow River is known for its hard water content; a state attributed to several activities that had taken place in the area in history. Making the water usable usually requires the introduction of water softening agents like aquisana filters and softeners.

The river also has a reputation for the high volume of salt in its surrounding areas, which has severely affected its usage over the years. Residents around the neighborhood use water softeners that are salt-free to get water drawn from the river in usable condition.

Like the Rock, the Narrow River is a good source of tourist attraction and recreational activities owing to its many histories and controversies.


Rhode Island’s history wouldn’t be complete and accurate without talking about the Pettaquamscutt Rock and the Narrow River. They’re part of the several elements that make up the identity of the state. The Pettaquamscutt Historical Society Museum and Library dedicates herself to bringing more history and contents your way.

5 Interesting Facts About American History

How much do you know about American history?

Most Americans believe they know enough about the history of their country. However, they’ll probably tell you that the country has been around since 1776 and 1789 when it was formally founded.

Others will narrate to you that Teddy Roosevelt was known to be a proud “Trust Buster” or that Abe Lincoln was America’s 16th president.


There’s more to the history of America than what you can find in history textbooks; so much isn’t included in the textbook purviews.

The average American probably isn’t aware of the fascinating facts loaded in the country’s history. Some include:

  • With 1 in every 10 American presidents assassinated, the president’s office is the country’s deadliest job.
  • A 17-year old schoolboy designed the grand old American flag with 50 stars in 1958.
  • The amount of pizza sold in America daily could cover about 100 acres of land.
  • Grover Cleveland was America’s only executioner president; he hanged a murderer in New York as the sheriff.
  • Abraham Lincoln was an entrepreneurial president with a saloon and patent for a device used to lift boats.
  • The U.S. Air Force is the largest military force worldwide, followed by the U.S Navy and Marine Corps.
  • The oldest rivers dating back to millions of years are in the American soil: the Susquehanna, the New, and the French Broad Rivers.
  • One in every 10 Americans is likely related by blood to one of the 102 pilgrims of the 1620 Mayflower.

Here’re more interesting facts you’ll love to know about American history:

5 Fascinating Facts about the History of America that You May Not Know

  1. Celebrations and fireworks

Fireworks are typical of many celebrations in America, especially the 4th of July.

This culture is rooted in a fascinating history of the country. A “Congreve Rocket,” a British weapon and important firework, enabled the British to conquer Washington during “The Burning of Washington” war in 1812.

The rocket was inaccurate and susceptible to failure, hence only caused 26 deaths in the war. However, it turned out to be a terrible weapon for American soldiers who were untrained.

During the Battle of Bladensburg, the British took a sack and burnt Washington to victory, putting the city in the hands of foreign forces.

  • Turkish lies and explores American soil with Coronado

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was the first explorer of the American Southwest on an expedition to find the “Seven Cities of Gold.”

A Native American guide is known as “the Turk” accompanied Coronado’s team. The Spanish explorers exploited the native tribes, killing and stealing from them as they deemed fit.

As a result, The Turk led the team of explorers astray so they could get lost in the wilderness. He led them into the great plains far from his people, knowing well he would never return if his plan worked well.

However, the Spanish discovered his plan and assassinated him prior to going back to New Mexico. The Native American hero, The Turk, saved his people from the aggressive Spanish explorers.

  • Evolution of hunting rifles contributed to America’s survival and economic prosperity

The history of firearms in the U.S dates back to as early as 1607 when English men arrived at Jamestown, Va. The early settlers used rifles to protect their colonies and hunt for big game meat.

Today, the rifles have evolved to feature the best ar 15 scope for top performance.

  • Popov and Pearl Harbor

Dushan Popov is the man believed to have inspired James Bond of Ian Fleming. He lived a high life in the 1940s.

Believed to be a German spy, Popov collected information for the Axis Powers from the Americans. However, he was also working as an agent for Britain.

The Japanese planned an attack on a naval base while he worked as a British agent. He decided to provide the FBI with information about the planned attack.

Upon arriving in America, he was made to set an appointment and wait before seeing J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI. He rented a penthouse while waiting for his appointment and partied with the famous and rich of the time.

However, Hoover was furious at his risky behavior and threatened to send him to jail for violating the Mann Act. Popov failed to tell Hoover the information he came to deliver due to his anger.

  • Lincoln’s assassination and a promise to his wife

Lots of myths and theories surround the death of Abraham Lincoln. However, killing him wasn’t part of the initial plan.

Instead, he was to be kidnapped and taken hostage. Lincoln dreamt of his assassination after John Wilkes and his team changed their plan.

The dream bothered Lincoln so much that he shared it with William H. Crook, his bodyguard. Crook advised him not to visit the theater on the night of his killing.


Lincoln had promised his wife to go to the theater. He kept his promise despite the possibility of never returning home.