John M. Rice


John Rice is the great-great-grandson of Isaac Rice, considered to be one of the most illustrious citizens of nineteenth-century Newport. In his article, “Frederick Douglass and His Abolitionist Friends in Newport and New Bedford,” John traces his ancestor’s leadership in the antislavery movement in Newport by drawing on family papers and artifacts, as well as archival records, biographies, and other accounts. Opening with a letter written by the great abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass to Isaac Rice’s daughter, Mary Ann C. Rice Remington in 1860, John describes the web of abolitionist connections and activism by members of the Rice family and their distinguished antislavery colleagues. John M. Rice was raised in Newport and attended Newport public schools. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, a Master’s Degree in Applied Mechanics from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Rhode Island. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department for thirty-one years. His Newport ancestors go as far back as the eighteenth-century. His 4th great-grandfather is Abraham Casey, a co-founder of Newport’s Free African Union Society in 1780.