RI crew to do more digging at slave trader's home





Thomas Richardson II was a wealthy 18th century Newport merchant and captain, a slave trader and member of the city's privileged elite who, researchers say, manufactured rum on his waterfront property and ventured to the Caribbean and Africa.

A team of excavators who have already spent two summers at the Richarson property, digging up everything from Chinese porcelain to animal bones, will return this summer to complete their work at the site.

The researchers are hoping to uncover a large distillery they believe Richardson's slaves used to make rum. The alcohol was produced in copious quantities in colonial Newport, helping make the city a commercial hub, and was a key element of the so-called triangular trade that carried slaves, rum, molasses and other goods and supplies between Africa, the Caribbean and New England.



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