Monday, May 25, 2009

Enhancing 'Charles Dexter Ward' Via Historical Documents.

The farm at Pawtuxet, shunned by every living soul, remained to moulder through the years; and seemed to decay with unaccountable rapidity. By 1780 only the stone and brickwork were standing, and by 1800 even these had fallen to shapeless heaps. - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

When I see antiquarian bits of Providence, I begin to think of Lovecraft and how his imagination mught have jumped at creating fiction from ordinary fact. Here are two tiny bits - fragments of history.

The first image is an ordinary document of its time lifting a ship quarantine of some sort. A portion of a page re minutes of Town Council Meeting in Providence, RI "The Council taking into consideration the advanced State of the Season believe it no longer necessary that Vessels arriving from abroad be subjected to be Quarantined.Resolved therefore that his Excellency the Governor be and he is hereby notified thereof." The front shows the officers present at the meeting. Document is approx. 7"x2/34" and executed on stout laid paper of the day.

One imagines, though, that the council was wary of evil, and shore patrol watched for many years in case withcraft - or worse - manifested itself in the wharfs and woods of Providence. Letting their gaurd down shortly after the heinous farm dwellings at Pawtuxet crumbled.

The second set of images are of a three dollar paper certificate form State Of Rhode Island (found in a house that was being torn down) a paper parchment about 3'' by 3 3/4'' - one side says it is printed by Hall and Sellers and the other side says it was three dollars with the number of 2298. The date it has on it is July 1780. It could have easily been used by a 1780 passerby of that horrid place.

If you're into HPL role playing, maybe these documents will help you enjoy!

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