Success, ambition, and glamour dominate this block of Benefit Street. John Brown became wealthy from his family’s shipping business, which included privateering, the Triangular Slave Trade and the China Trade. This luxurious house, one of the grandest in the United States, played host to presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. John Nicholas Brown, a great collector, and preservationist, bought his great-great-great uncle’s house and donated it in 1942 to R.I. Historical Society which now operates the house as a museum.
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