John Brown House Museum - Rhode Island Historical Society

John Brown House Museum - Rhode Island Historical Society

52 Power Street, Providence, RI 02906 - United States



Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

The John Brown House was built in 1788 by merchant, patriot, politician, and slave trader John Brown, an instigator and participant in the Gaspee Affair. He and his family were some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the colonies and, then, the United States. The Browns are the namesake of Brown University.

Come walk through John Brown’s mansion (in the footsteps of George Washington, Abigail Adams, and other historical figures who once visited) and experience for yourself what it was like to live in the brand new United States at the end of the 18th century. The tour will discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day: slavery, the American Revolution, the China trade, and the major role Rhode Island played in the history of our nation.


In honor of the theme, the John Brown House Museum will feature a special display centered on Jazz. We will also be hosting our friends from the Providence Children's Museum outside on our grounds (weather permitting) from 12 to 2 pm with their Imagination Playground. In addition, RIHS volunteers will be on hand throughout the John Brown House Museum to chat with visitors during this open house style event.

On this day we will also have a new panel exhibit, The Power of Place in Civil Rights, that features the stories of significant places in Rhode Island pertaining to civil rights activities, people, and organizations.This exhibit is a culmination of work done in partnership with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, and the Rhode Island Historical Society and site documentation done by The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc., all made possible by a grant from the National Park Service.


Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.