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The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
established on the east coast of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded by Roger Williams. It was an
English colony
English colony
from 1636 until 1707, and then a colony of Great Britain until the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) ...
in 1776, when it became the
State of Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states by area, smallest U.S. state by area and the List of states and territories of the Un ...
.


Early America

The land that became the English colony was first home to the
Narragansett Indians The Narragansett people are an Algonquian American Indian tribe from Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states ...
, which led to the name of the modern town of
Narragansett, Rhode Island Narragansett is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin ...
. European settlement began around 1622 with a trading post at Sowams, now the town of
Warren, Rhode Island Warren is a town in Bristol County, Rhode Island. The population was 10,611 at the 2010 census. History Warren was the site of the Pokanoket Indian settlement of Sowams located on a peninsula within the Pokanoket region. The region consisted of ...
.
Roger Williams Roger Williams (c. 21 December 1603 – between 27 January and 15 March 1683) was a Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintai ...

Roger Williams
was a
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Je ...

Puritan
theologian and linguist who founded
Providence Plantations Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island. It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams and Dr. John Clarke who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with ...
in 1636 on land given to him by Narragansett
sachem Sachems and sagamores are among the or other of northeastern . The two words are s of terms (c. 1622) from different . The Sagamore was a lesser than the Sachem. Both of these chiefs are elected by their people. Sagamores are chosen by s ...
Canonicus The original 1636 deed to Providence, signed by Chief Canonicus Canonicus (c. 1565 – June 4, 1647) was a chief of the Narragansett Indian tribe. He was wary of the colonial settlers, but he ultimately proved to be a firm friend of Roger Wil ...
. He was exiled under religious persecution from the
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay on the Atlantic Ocean that forms part of t ...
; he and his fellow settlers agreed on an egalitarian constitution providing for majority rule "in civil things," with
liberty of conscience Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience or ideas) is the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present s ...
on spiritual matters. He named the settlement Providence Plantation, believing that God had brought them there. (The term "
plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil pa ...
" was used in the 17th century to mean an agricultural colony.)Franklin, Wayne (2012). New York, The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W W Norton & Company. p. 179. Williams named the islands in the Narragansett Bay after Christian virtues:
Patience ''Patience'', Hans_Sebald_Beham.html"_;"title="engraving_by_Hans_Sebald_Beham">engraving_by_Hans_Sebald_Beham,_1540 Patience_(or_wikt:forbearance#English.html" "title="Hans_Sebald_Beham,_1540.html" ;"title="Hans_Sebald_Beham.html" ;"title="engr ...
,
Prudence File:Papstgrab, Prudentia.jpg, Prudentia on the tomb of Pope Clement II in the Bamberg Cathedral Prudence ( la, prudentia, Contraction (grammar), contracted from meaning "seeing ahead, sagacity") is the ability to govern and discipline oneself ...

Prudence
, and Hope Islands. In 1637, another group of Massachusetts dissenters purchased land from the Indians on
Aquidneck Island Rhode Island, also known as Aquidneck Island, is an island in Narragansett Bay in the state of Rhode Island, which is named after the island. The total land area is , which makes it the largest island in the bay. The 2000 United States Census repor ...
, which was called Rhode Island at the time, and they established a settlement called Pocasset. The group included
William Coddington William Coddington (c. 1601 – 1 November 1678) was an early leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America ...
, John Clarke, and
Anne Anne, alternatively spelled Ann, is a form of the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as La ...
and William Hutchinson, among others. That settlement, however, quickly split into two separate settlements.
Samuel Gorton Samuel Gorton (1593–1677) was an early settler and civic leader of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and President of the towns of Providence Plantations, Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island, Warwick. He had strong religiou ...
and others remained to establish the settlement of
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a and island with status in the of , southern . It is the most densely populated city in the , with a population last recorded at 238,800. The city forms part of the , which also incorporates , , , , , and . Located mainly ...
(which formerly was Pocasset) in 1638, while Coddington and Clarke established nearby
Newport Newport most commonly refers to: *Newport, Wales, UK *Newport, Rhode Island, US Newport or New Port may also refer to: Places Asia *Newport City, Metro Manila, a Philippine district in Pasay Europe Ireland *Newport, County Mayo, a town on ...
in 1639. Both settlements were situated on Rhode Island (Aquidneck). The second plantation settlement on the mainland was
Samuel Gorton Samuel Gorton (1593–1677) was an early settler and civic leader of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and President of the towns of Providence Plantations, Providence and Warwick, Rhode Island, Warwick. He had strong religiou ...
's ''Shawomet Purchase'' from the Narragansetts in 1642. As soon as Gorton settled at Shawomet, however, the Massachusetts Bay authorities laid claim to his territory and acted to enforce their claim. After considerable difficulties with the Massachusetts Bay General Court, Gorton traveled to London to enlist the help of
Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick Robert Rich, 2nd Earl of Warwick (5 June 158719 April 1658) was an English colonial administrator, admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Commonwealth of Nations, Comm ...
, head of the Commission for Foreign Plantations. Gorton returned in 1648 with a letter from Rich, ordering Massachusetts to cease molesting him and his people. In gratitude, he changed the name of Shawomet Plantation to
Warwick Warwick ( ) is a market town and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Br ...
.


Cromwell interregnum

In 1651,
William Coddington William Coddington (c. 1601 – 1 November 1678) was an early leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America ...
obtained a separate charter from England setting up the Coddington Commission, which made him life governor of the islands of Rhode Island and Conanicut in a federation with
Connecticut Colony The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England which became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settl ...
and
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay on the Atlantic Ocean that forms part of t ...
. Protest, open rebellion, and a further petition to
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
in London led to the reinstatement of the original charter in 1653.


Sanctuary for religious freedom

Following the 1660 restoration of royal rule in England, it was necessary to gain a
Royal Charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing ...

Royal Charter
from King
Charles II
Charles II
. Charles was a Catholic sympathizer in staunchly Protestant England, and he approved of the colony's promise of religious freedom. He granted the request with the
Royal Charter of 1663 The Rhode Island Royal Charter provided royal recognition to the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, als ...
, uniting the four settlements together into the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. In the following years, many persecuted groups settled in the colony, notably Quakers and Jews. The Rhode Island colony was very progressive for the time, passing laws abolishing
witchcraft trials Witchcraft is the practice of what the practitioner ("witch") believes to be Magic (supernatural), magical skills and abilities such as using spell (paranormal), spells, incantations, and magical rituals. ''Witchcraft'' is a broad term that var ...
, imprisonment for debt, and most capital punishment. The colony also passed the first anti-slavery law in America on May 18, 1652, though the practice remained widespread in Rhode Island and there exists no evidence that the legislation was ever enforced. Rhode Island remained at peace with local Indians, but the relationship was more strained between other New England colonies and certain tribes and sometimes led to bloodshed, despite attempts by the Rhode Island leadership to broker peace. During
King Philip's War King Philip's War (sometimes called the First Indian War, Metacom's War, Metacomet's War, Pometacomet's Rebellion, or Metacom's Rebellion) was an armed conflict in 1675–1678 between indigenous inhabitants of New England and New England coloni ...
(1675–1676), both sides regularly violated Rhode Island's neutrality. The war's largest battle occurred in Rhode Island on December 19, 1675 when a force of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth militia under General
Josiah Winslow Josiah Winslow was born in Plymouth Colony about 1628 and died in 1680 in Marshfield, Massachusetts, Marshfield, Plymouth Colony. In records of the time, historians also name him Josias Winslow, and modern writers have carried that name forward. ...
invaded and destroyed the fortified Narragansett village in the . The Narragansetts also invaded and burned several towns in Rhode Island, including Providence. Roger Williams knew both
Metacom Metacomet (1638 – August 12, 1676), also known as Pometacom, Metacom, and by his adopted English name King Philip,Canonchet Canonchet (or Cononchet, died 1676) was a Narragansett people, Narragansett Sachem and leader of Native American troops during the Great Swamp Fight and King Philip's War. He was a son of Miantonomo. In 1676, having been surprised and captured, his ...
as children. He was aware of the tribe's activities and promptly sent letters informing the Governor of Massachusetts of enemy movements.
Providence Plantations Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island. It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams and Dr. John Clarke who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with ...
made some efforts at fortifying the town, and Williams even started training recruits for protection. In one of the final actions of the war, troops from Connecticut killed King Philip (Metacom) in Mount Hope, Rhode Island.


Dominion of New England

In the 1680s, Charles II sought to streamline administration of the English colonies and to more closely control their trade. The
Navigation Acts The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The la ...
passed in the 1660s were widely disliked, since merchants often found themselves trapped and at odds with the rules. However, many colonial governments, Massachusetts principally among them, refused to enforce the acts, and took matters one step further by obstructing the activities of the Crown agents. Charles' successor
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
introduced the
Dominion of New England The Dominion of New England in America (1686–1689) was an administrative union of English colonies covering New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New ...
in 1686 as a means to accomplish these goals. Under its provisional president
Joseph Dudley Joseph Dudley (September 23, 1647 – April 2, 1720) was a colonial administrator, a native of Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlem ...
, the disputed "King's Country" (present-day
Washington County Washington County is the name of 30 counties and one parish in the United States of America, all named after George Washington, revolutionary war general and first President of the United States. It is the most common county name in the United Stat ...
) was brought into the dominion, and the rest of the colony was brought under dominion control by Governor Sir
Edmund Andros Sir Edmund Andros (6 December 1637 – 24 February 1714) was an English colonial administrator in British America. He was the governor of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. At other times, Andros served a ...

Edmund Andros
. The rule of Andros was extremely unpopular, especially in Massachusetts. The 1688
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
deposed James II and brought and
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Gr ...

Mary II
to the English throne; Massachusetts authorities conspired in April 1689 to have Andros arrested and sent back to England. With this event, the dominion collapsed and Rhode Island resumed its previous government. The bedrock of the economy continued to be agriculture – especially dairy farming – and fishing; lumber and shipbuilding also became major industries. Slaves were introduced at this time, although there is no record of any law re-legalizing slave holding. Ironically, the colony later prospered under the slave trade, by distilling rum to sell in Africa as part of a profitable
triangular trade 350px, Depiction of the triangular trade of slaves, sugar, and rum with New England instead of Europe as the third corner Triangular trade or triangle trade is trade Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entit ...

triangular trade
in slaves and sugar between Africa, America, and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
.


American Revolutionary period

Leading figures in the colony were involved in the 1776 launch of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
which delivered
American independence The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in British Empire#First British Empire (1707-1783), colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British ...
from the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
, such as former royal governors Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, as well as John Brown, Nicholas Brown,
William Ellery William Ellery (December 22, 1727 – February 15, 1820) was a Founding Father of the United States Founding may refer to: * The formation or of a corporation, government, or other organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonweal ...

William Ellery
, the Reverend James Manning, and the Reverend
Ezra Stiles Ezra Stiles (December 10, 1727 – May 12, 1795) was an American academic and educator, Congregationalist minister, theologian and author. He was seventh president of Yale College (1778–1795), and one of the founders of Brown University ...

Ezra Stiles
, each of whom had played an influential role in founding
Brown University Brown University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two de ...

Brown University
in
Providence Providence often refers to: * Providentia, the divine personification of foresight in ancient Roman religion * Divine providence, divinely ordained events and outcomes in Christianity * Providence, Rhode Island, the capital of Rhode Island in the ...

Providence
in 1764 as a sanctuary for religious and intellectual freedom. On May 4, 1776,
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
became the first of the 13 colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, and was the fourth to ratify the
Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America ...
between the newly sovereign
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
on February 9, 1778. It boycotted the 1787 convention that drew up the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
, and initially refused to
ratify Ratification is a principal Principal may refer to: Title or rank * Principal (academia) The principal is the chief executive and the chief academic officer of a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational insti ...
it. It relented after
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...
sent a series of constitutional
amendments A constitutional amendment is a modification of the constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or or ...
to the states for ratification, the
Bill of Rights A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against Civil and political rights, infringement fr ...

Bill of Rights
guaranteeing specific personal freedoms and rights; clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings; and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th state and the last of the former colonies to ratify the Constitution.


Boundaries

The boundaries of the colony underwent numerous changes, including repeated disputes with Massachusetts and Connecticut Colonies who contested for control of territory later awarded to Rhode Island. Rhode Island's early compacts did not stipulate the boundary on the eastern shore of Narrangansett Bay, and did not include any of
Washington County Washington County is the name of 30 counties and one parish in the United States of America, all named after George Washington, revolutionary war general and first President of the United States. It is the most common county name in the United Stat ...
, land that belonged to the
Narragansett people The Narragansett people are an Algonquian languages, Algonquian American Indian tribe from Rhode Island. The tribe was nearly landless for most of the 20th century, but it worked to gain federally recognized tribe, federal recognition and attaine ...
. The original settlements were at
Providence Providence often refers to: * Providentia, the divine personification of foresight in ancient Roman religion * Divine providence, divinely ordained events and outcomes in Christianity * Providence, Rhode Island, the capital of Rhode Island in the ...
, Warwick, Newport, and Portsmouth, and the territory was expanded by purchasing land from the Narragansetts westward toward Connecticut and the smaller islands in Narrangasett Bay. Block Island was settled in 1637 after the Pequot War, became a part of the colony in 1664, and was incorporated in 1672 as
New ShorehamNew Shoreham may refer to: * New Shoreham, Rhode Island, United States * Part of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England ** New Shoreham (UK Parliament constituency) 1295–1885 See also

* Shoreham (disambiguation) {{geodis ...
.Cady, pp. 1-31


Western boundary

The western boundary with Connecticut was defined ambiguously as the "Narragansett River" in the Connecticut charter, which was decided by arbitrators in 1663 to be the
Pawcatuck River The Pawcatuck River is a river in the US states of Rhode Island and Connecticut flowing approximately .U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map accessed April 1, 2011 There are eight dams al ...
from its mouth to the Ashaway River mouth, from which a northward line was drawn to the Massachusetts line. This resolved a long-standing dispute concerning the former Narragansett lands which were also claimed by Connecticut and Massachusetts, although the dispute continued until 1703, when the arbitration award was upheld. After repeated surveys, a mutually agreeable line was defined and surveyed in 1728.


Eastern boundary

The eastern boundary was also an area of dispute with
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...
. Overlapping charters had awarded an area extending three miles inland to both Plymouth and Rhode Island east of Narragansett Bay; this area was awarded to Rhode Island in 1741, establishing Rhode Island's jurisdiction over Barrington, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton, and Little Compton which Massachusetts had claimed. Also adjudicated in the 1741 decision was the award of most of Cumberland to Rhode Island from Massachusetts. The final establishment of the boundaries north of Barrington and east of the Blackstone River occurred almost a century after American independence, requiring protracted litigation and multiple US Supreme Court decisions. In the final decision, a portion of Tiverton was awarded to Massachusetts to become part of Fall River, and 2/3 of Seekonk (Now eastern Pawtucket and East Providence) was awarded to Rhode Island in 1862.


Northern boundary

Rhode Island's northern border with Massachusetts also underwent a number of changes. Massachusetts surveyed this line in 1642, but subsequent surveys by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut agreed that it was placed too far south. In 1718-19, commissioners for Rhode Island and Massachusetts agreed on roughly that line anyway (except the section east of the Blackstone River, which remained disputed until 1741), and this is where the line remains today.


Demographics

From 1640 to 1774, the population of Rhode Island grew from 300 to 59,607, but then declined during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
to 52,946 in 1780. After
William Coddington William Coddington (c. 1601 – 1 November 1678) was an early leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America ...
and a group of 13 other men bought
Aquidneck Island Rhode Island, also known as Aquidneck Island, is an island in Narragansett Bay in the state of Rhode Island, which is named after the island. The total land area is , which makes it the largest island in the bay. The 2000 United States Census repor ...
from
Narragansett Indians The Narragansett people are an Algonquian American Indian tribe from Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the List of U.S. states ...
in 1639, the population of
Newport, Rhode Island Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island Rhode Island, also known as Aquidneck Island, is an island in Narragansett Bay in the state of Rhode Island, which is named after the island. The total land area is , which makes it the largest is ...
grew from 96 in 1640 to 7,500 in 1760 (making Newport the fifth-largest city in the Thirteen Colonies at the time), and Newport grew further to 9,209 by 1774. The
black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a rout ...
population in the colony grew from 25 in 1650 to 3,668 in 1774 (ranging between 3 and 10 percent of the population), and like the state as a whole, declined to 2,671 (or 5 percent of the population) by 1780. In 1774,
Indians Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
accounted for 1,479 of the inhabitants of the colony (or 3 percent). Rhode Island was the only New England colony without an
established church A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whethe ...
. In 1650, of the 109
places of worship A place of worship is a specially designed structure or space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation A congregation is a large gathering of people, often for the purpose of worship. Congregation may also refer to: *Churc ...

places of worship
with regular
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
in the eight British American colonies (including those without resident clergy), only 4 were located in Rhode Island (2
Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity distinguished by baptizing professing Christianity, Christian believers only (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete Immersion baptism, ...
and 2
Congregational Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches; Congregationalism) are Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Crit ...
), while there was a small
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly ...
in Newport by 1658. Following the
First Great Awakening The First Great Awakening (sometimes Great Awakening) or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revival Christian revivalism is increased spiritual interest or Renewal (religion), renewal in the life of a local church, church cong ...
(1730–1755), the number of regular places of worship in Rhode Island grew to 50 in 1750 (30 Baptist, 12 Congregational, 7
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
, and 1
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
), with the colony gaining an additional 5 regular places of worship by 1776 (26 Baptist, 11
Friends ''Friends'' is an American television sitcom A sitcom, clipping Clipping may refer to: Words * Clipping (morphology) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

Friends
, 9
Congregational Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches; Congregationalism) are Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Crit ...
, 5 Episcopal, 1 Jewish, 1 New Light Congregational, 1
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
, and 1 Sandemanian). Puritan mass migration to New England began following the issuance of the
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or ...
for the
Massachusetts Bay Company Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Connecticut to the southwest and Rhode Island ...
by
Charles I of England Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from a ...

Charles I of England
in 1629 and continued until the beginning of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
in 1642, while following the war's conclusion in 1651, immigration to New England leveled off and the population growth owed almost entirely to natural increase rather than
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...
or slave importations for the remainder of the 17th century and through the 18th century. Mass migration from New England to the
Province of New York The Province of New York (1664–1776) was a British proprietary colony A proprietary colony was a type of English colony mostly in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all w ...
and the
Province of New Jersey The Province of New Jersey was one of the Middle Colonies The Middle Colonies were a subset of the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kin ...
began following the surrender of
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
by the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
at
Fort Amsterdam Fort Amsterdam was a fort on the southern tip of Manhattan at the confluence of the Hudson River, Hudson and East River, East rivers. It was the administrative headquarters for the Dutch and then English/British rule of the colony of New Netherl ...

Fort Amsterdam
in 1664, and the population of New York would continue to expand more so by in-migration by families from New England (including Rhode Island) in the 18th century rather than from natural increase. Despite the initial Puritan mass migration also having a 2:1 male sex-imbalance like the British colonization of the
Chesapeake Colonies The Chesapeake Colonies were the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, later the Commonwealth of Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and South ...
, unlike the
Southern Colonies The Southern Colonies within British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandat ...
in the 17th century, most Puritan immigrants to New England migrated as families (as approximately two-thirds of the male Puritan immigrants to New England were married rather than unmarried
indentured servants Indentured servitude is a form of forced labor in which a person (an indenture) is forced to work without salary for a specific number of years for eventual compensation or debt repayment. Historically, it has been used to punish and relocate cap ...
), and in late 17th century New England, 3 percent of the population was over the age of 65 (while only 1 percent in the Chesapeake was in 1704). By the American Revolutionary War, only 2 percent of the New England colonial
labor force The workforce or labour force is the labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or ...
were bonded or convict laborers and another 2 percent were black slaves, while 9 percent of the colonial black population in New England were
free persons of color In the context of the history of slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property Property ('' ...
(as compared with only 3 percent in the Southern Colonies). In February 1784, the
Rhode Island General Assembly The State of Rhode Island General Assembly is the state legislature (United States), state legislature of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. A bicameral body, it is composed of the lower house, lower Rhode Island House of Representatives with 75 re ...
passed a gradual emancipation law that increased the ratio of the free black population in Rhode Island to 78 percent by the 1790 United States Census, 1790 U.S. Census and that would ultimately eliminate slavery in Rhode Island by 1842.


See also

*American Revolutionary War#Prelude to revolution, American Revolutionary War §Background and political developments. The 1772 Gaspee Affair in sequence and strategic context. *British America *List of colonial governors of Rhode Island


Notes


References

* * James, Sydney V. ''Colonial Rhode Island: A History'' (1975.) * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Colony Of Rhode Island And Providence Plantations Colonial Rhode Island, Colonial United States (British), Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Colony of Dominion of New England Former British colonies and protectorates in the Americas, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Colony of Former English colonies, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Colony of Pre-statehood history of Rhode Island States and territories established in 1636 1776 disestablishments in the British Empire Colonial settlements in North America, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Colony of 1636 establishments in the British Empire Thirteen Colonies, Rhode Island