They came from everywhere, mostly as immigrant orphans who lived through the modern world’s first ghastly genocide, convinced they were the very few left who must save their heritage. Mitchnaperttells how Armenian churches, schools and organizations became established in Rhode Island and about the most difficult political crisis that split the community for fifty years, caused by the assassination of an Archbishop in another state. Mitchnapert follows the Armenians as they assimilate into the American mainstream, providing the reader a lucid and rare historical examination of what Armenians in Rhode Island accomplished and how they gained such notoriety in their Diaspora.
The “street stories” and historical essays of past events provide much factual evidence and familiarity to those who lived through the more recent periods. The early business scene and descriptions of neighborhoods where Armenians lived are recounted. Complex issues of how they are surviving the ethnic “melting pot” syndrome, both present and in the future are examined as second and third generation Armenian Americans become the community’s new decision makers. Included is a “Who’s Who” cross-section of Armenians who live and work in the state and those who moved elsewhere but still retain their Rhode Island roots.