Market Square, Providence, Rhode Island

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Market Square in Providence

Market Square is a market square in Providence, Rhode Island. It is located at the intersection of present-day North Main Street and College Street.


In the 17th century the land comprising modern day Market Square was originally owned by Chad Brown, progenitor of the Brown family, later affiliated with Brown University.

The current Market House, built in 1775, within Market Square was the focal point of colonial Providence, where many townspeople would buy produce and exchange news and gossip.

The first electric arc lights in Providence were installed by the Rhode Island Electric Lighting Company on Market Square and Westminster Street in 1882.[1]

On September 7, 1897 Emma Goldman the famous anarchist and feminist was arrested for "Open-Air Speaking" and charges of "Attracting a Crowd" at Market Square when she attempted to speak in public, after the mayor had warned her not to deliver any more open-air speeches.

She had been traveling to lecture on topics such as "Why I am an Anarchist-Communist," "Woman", "Marriage", the recent assassination of the Spanish Premier, and a speech "Berkman's Unjust Sentence," about Alexander Berkman's imprisonment for the murder of Henry Clay Frick.

After keeping Goldman in jail overnight, the Providence authorities ordered her to leave town in twenty four hours or face a three-month prison term.


  1. ^ Cady, John Hutchins (October 1952). "The Providence Market House" (PDF). Rhode Island History (Rhode Island Historical Society) 11 (4): 111. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 

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