Providence Plantations

Providence Plantation was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island. It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with greater religious freedom. Providence Plantation became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations after the American Revolution.


The colony was established at Providence in 1636 by Roger Williams and a small band of followers who had left the Massachusetts Bay Colony to seek freedom of worship,[1] and Narragansett sachems Canonicus and Miantonomi granted them a sizable tract of land. The settlers adopted a covenant which stressed the separation of religious and civil affairs.[2] Williams purchased Pawtuxet on the north side of the Pawtuxet River from the Narragansett sachems in 1638. He sold the land that same year to William Arnold and William Harris for the price of a cow.

Samuel Gorton had settled in Newport and in Portsmouth, but he had left each of them due to disagreements with his fellow settlers. He finally left the Providence settlement in January 1643 and founded a new settlement named Shawomet.[3] Meanwhile, the settlers at Pawtuxet were also not getting along well with the other settlements. Arnold even attempted to take control of Providence by altering Williams' original land deed.[4] Arnold ultimately asked Massachusetts Bay Colony to govern Pawtuxet and the surrounding communities.[4]

Massachusetts Bay attempted to extend its authority over Providence Plantations and the settlements in Newport, Portsmouth, and Shawomet during the 1630s and 1640s.[1] (Portsmouth and Newport were on Aquidneck Island, which was called Rhode Island at the time.)[3] Williams traveled to London in 1643 to settle the matter,[1] and he received a parliamentary Commission for Plantations patent the next year uniting Providence with Portsmouth and Newport as "The Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narraganset Bay in New England".[2][3] In May 1647, the three towns plus Shawoment (now named Warwick) formed a government under this charter in Providence.[2][3]

Williams was able to reunite the factions in 1654,[3] and Pawtuxet rejoined Providence settlement in 1658.[4] Williams finally obtained a charter from King Charles II on November 24, 1663 which united Providence, Warwick, Newport and Portsmouth into the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.[3] It became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations after the American Revolutionary War.[5]

See also


  • Bicknell, Thomas Williams (1920). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 3. New York: The American Historical Society. pp. 975–989.
  1. ^ a b c Mattern, Joanne (2003). Rhode Island: The Ocean State. Gareth Stevens. pp. 8–11. ISBN 9780836851595. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Providence". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 512.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rhode Island". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 252.
  4. ^ a b c Moyer, Sandra M.; Worthington, Thomas A. (2014). Cranston revisited. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Pub. p. 7. ISBN 9781467120791. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Joanne Mattern, Rhode Island: The Ocean State (2003), pg.7
Aquidneck Island

Aquidneck Island, officially Rhode Island, is an island in Narragansett Bay and in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which is partially named after the island. The total land area is 97.9 km2 (37.8 sq mi), which makes it the largest island in the bay. The 2000 United States Census reported its population as 60,870.

Aquidneck Island is home to three towns, from north to south: Portsmouth, Middletown, and Newport.

Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It was an English colony from 1636 until the American Revolution in 1776, when it became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (commonly known simply as Rhode Island).

Constitution of Rhode Island

The Constitution of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is a document describing the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Rhode Island.

Flag of Rhode Island

The flag of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is white and consists of a gold anchor in the center (a symbol for hope) surrounded by thirteen gold stars (for the original 13 colonies and Rhode Island's status as the 13th state to ratify the Constitution). A blue ribbon below the anchor bears the state's motto in gold: "HOPE." The flag is frequently depicted with golden fringe around the edges of the flag.

Governor of Rhode Island

The Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Rhode Island and serves as commander-in-chief of the State's Army National Guard and Air National Guard. The current governor is Gina Raimondo.

Index of Rhode Island-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

John Coggeshall

John Coggeshall Sr. (December 2, 1599 – November 27, 1647) was one of the founders of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the first President of all four towns in the Colony. He was a successful silk merchant in Essex, England, but he emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1632 and quickly assumed a number of roles in the colonial government. In the mid-1630s, he became a supporter of dissident minister John Wheelwright and of Anne Hutchinson. Hutchinson was tried as a heretic in 1637, and Coggeshall was one of three deputies who voted for her acquittal. She was banished from the colony in 1638, and the three deputies who voted for her acquittal were also compelled to leave. Before leaving Boston, Coggeshall and many other Hutchinson supporters signed the Portsmouth Compact in March 1638 agreeing to form a government based on the individual consent of the inhabitants. They then established the settlement of Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island (called Rhode Island at the time), one of the four towns comprising the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Coggeshall was very active in civil affairs, but a rift in the leadership of the colony caused him and several other leaders to leave in 1639, moving to the south end of the island and establishing the town of Newport. The towns of Portsmouth and Newport reunited in 1640 under the leadership of William Coddington, and Coggeshall was his assistant until 1647 when the two towns on Rhode Island united to form a common government with the towns of Providence and Warwick, and Coggeshall was elected President of the entire Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. His tenure was very short due to his death later the same year, but during his administration many laws were established which became the basis for the colony and the future State of Rhode Island.

Joseph Jenckes (governor)

Joseph Jenckes (1656 – 15 June 1740) was a deputy governor and governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

List of colonial governors of Rhode Island

This is a list of the "judges," presidents, and governors of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations from 1638 to 1776.

List of lieutenant governors of Rhode Island

The Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island is Daniel McKee. He assumed office January 6, 2015.

In Rhode Island, the lieutenant governor and governor of Rhode Island are elected on separate tickets.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island ( (listen)), officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in area, the seventh least populous, and the second most densely populated. It has the longest official name of any state. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is the state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island.

On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, and it was the fourth among the newly independent states to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778. The state boycotted the 1787 convention which drew up the United States Constitution and initially refused to ratify it; it was the last of the states to do so on May 29, 1790.Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14 percent of its total area.

Rhode Island Supreme Court

The Rhode Island Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the U.S. State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The Court consists of a Chief Justice and four Associate Justices, all selected by the Governor of Rhode Island from candidates vetted by the Judicial Nominating Commission. Each justice enjoys lifetime tenure and no mandatory retirement age, similar to Federal judges. Justices may be removed only if impeached for improper conduct by a vote of the Rhode Island House of Representatives and convicted by trial in the Rhode Island Senate.

Rhode Island v. Massachusetts

Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657 (1838), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court asserted its original jurisdiction over a suit in equity by one state against another over their shared border. The case involved a boundary dispute between Massachusetts and Rhode Island dating back to colonial times. Daniel Webster was involved in the case representing Massachusetts.

Robert Coles (settler)

Robert Coles (c. 1600–1655) was a 17th-century New England colonist who arrived on the Winthrop Fleet. A miller and farmer by trade, he is best known for his scarlet-letter punishment in Massachusetts Bay Colony and his role in establishing the Providence Plantations, now the state of Rhode Island, where he helped frame a new form of government.

In Massachusetts Bay, Coles was a first settler of Roxbury and Agawam, now Ipswich, and an early settler of Salem. After repeated fines for drunkenness he was forced to wear a red letter "D" as a badge of shame. He left Massachusetts Bay to join Roger Williams at Providence where he was one of the new colony's 13 original proprietors and a founding member of the First Baptist Church in America. Coles co-authored the Plantation Agreement at Providence of 1640, which established a secular, representative democracy. In the Providence Plantations he was a first settler of Pawtuxet and an early settler of Shawomet, now the Rhode Island towns of Cranston and Warwick.

Roger Williams

Roger Williams (c. 21 December 1603 – between 27 January and 15 March 1683) was a Puritan minister, theologian, and author who founded the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and fair dealings with American Indians, and he was one of the first abolitionists.Williams was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for spreading "new and dangerous ideas", and he established the Providence Plantations in 1636 as a refuge offering what he called "liberty of conscience". In 1638, he founded the First Baptist Church in America, also known as the First Baptist Church of Providence. He was a linguist concerning Indian languages and author concerning them, and he organized the first attempt to prohibit slavery in any of the American colonies.

Seal of Rhode Island

The Seal of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations features a blue field with a golden maritime anchor as its central image below the phrase "HOPE." The anchor has been used as a symbol for Rhode Island since the colony's founding in 1636, well before the region claimed statehood.

Secretary of State of Rhode Island

The Secretary of State of Rhode Island is an elected office in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of 2015, the current Secretary of State is Nellie Gorbea.

The Rhode Island Department of State or is composed of five separate divisions:

The Elections and Civics Division prepares ballots, ensures accessibility of voting facilities, qualifies and certifies the names of all federal and state candidates for ballot placement, maintains a database of registered voters, and ensures compliance with the Help America Vote Act. Administration of elections and compliance with campaign finance laws is the responsibility of a separate state agency, the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

The Corporations Division is responsible for a wide range of business-related legal documents and filings, including formation of corporations and other business entities, liens and security interests under the Uniform Commercial Code, registration of notaries public, apostilles, trademarks and service marks, registration of businesses conducting games of chance, and various other documents required by state law.

The Public Information Division accepts many filings required to be made with Secretary of State, including Lobbying Disclosures, Public Meeting Notices and Minutes, Disclosure of State Government Consultants and Appointments to Boards and Commissions, and other government information. This division also publishes the Rhode Island Government Owner's Manual, which gives a broad overview of various government offices and officials.

The Rhode Island State Archives is the official custodian and trustee for public records of permanent historical value.

The Rhode Island State Library, which was created in 1852 by a General Assembly resolution as part of the office of the Secretary of State. Its purpose is to assist members of the General Assembly with research on the preparation of proposed legislation. The State Library also includes a law library.

United States congressional delegations from Rhode Island

These are tables of congressional delegations from Rhode Island to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.

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