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Rhode Island,

One of the thirteen original States of the Union, and the smallest of the United States, is bounded on the north and east by Massachusetts, on the west by Connecticut, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. Block Island, about 9 miles from the mainland, is a portion of the State's territory. Area, 1,250 square miles, in five counties. Population 1890, 345,506; 1900, 428,556. Capitals, Providence and Newport.

Roger Williams, banished from Plymouth colony, with five companies settles at a spot which he calls Providence......June, 1636

Aquedneck Island settled by eighteen proprietors at Portsmouth, now New Town, first called Pocasset......1637

Canonicus and his nephew Miantinomo, sachems of the Narragansets, deed to Roger Williams all lands between the Pawtucket and Pawtuxet rivers......March 24, 1638

Roger Williams and Governor Winthrop make a joint purchase of Prudence Island......Nov. 10, 1638

First general training or militia muster in Rhode Island held at Portsmouth......Nov. 12, 1638

Aquedneck purchased from the Indians by “William Coddington and his friends” ......Nov. 22, 1639

First Baptist Church in America founded in Providence......1639

John Clarke and several proprietors of Aquedneck remove to the southern part of the island and found Newport......1639

First Baptist Church in Newport founded......1639

Form of government, twelve articles of agreement, framed and adopted by the inhabitants of Providence......July 27, 1640

Rev. Robert Lenthel called by vote to open a public school in Newport......1640

General Assembly asserts Rhode Island to be a democracy, saving only the right of the King, and grants freedom of religious opinions......March, 1641

Four landholders, three of them original proprietors, at Pawtuxet dissatisfied with the opposition of one Samuel Gorton and his partisans to the government, offer themselves and their lands to Massachusetts, and are received by the General Court......Sept. 8, 1642

Samuel Gorton and his companions remove to Shawomet, where they had purchased lands from the Indians, and commence the settlement of Warwick......Jan. 12, 1643

Roger Williams is sent to England as agent for Providence, Aquedneck, and Warwick, to secure a charter from the King......1643

Patent granted by Robert, Earl of Warwick, governor-in-chief and lord high admiral, and commissioners, to planters of the towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport, for incorporation of Providence Plantations in Narraganset Bay......March 14, 1643

General Court changes the name of Aquedneck to the “Isles of Rhodes” or Rhode Island......March 13, 1644

Grant to John Smith to establish a grist-mill above Mill Bridge in Providence, the first in Rhode Island......1646 [507]

Committees from Providence, Portsmouth, Newport, and Warwick at Portsmouth, adopt the charter of 1643, choose John Coggeshall president of the colony, and give a tax of £ 100 to Roger Williams for obtaining the charter......May 19-21, 1647

Canonicus, sachem of the Narragansets, dies......June 4, 1647

William Coddington receives from the council of state in England a commission, signed by John Bradshaw, to govern Rhode Island and Connecticut during his life, with a council of six, to be named by the people and approved by himself. Authority procured April 3, 1651, and asserted......August, 1651

Roger Williams sent as agent of Providence to obtain a confirmation of their charter, and Dr. John Clarke, agent of Portsmouth and Newport, to obtain a repeal of Coddington's commission, sail for England......October, 1651

Island towns submit to Coddington, but the mainland towns, in legislative session, elect John Smith president, and appoint other officers. They enact that no man, negro or white, shall be held to service more than ten years after coming into the colony......May, 1652

General Assembly in Providence passes a libel law, also an alien law; no foreigner to be received as a freeman or to trade with Indians but by consent of the Assembly......October, 1652

William Dyer, secretary of the province, and husband of Mary Dyer (afterwards executed in Boston as a Quaker), arrives from England with news of the repeal of Coddington's power......Feb. 18, 1653

Assembly of island towns, Portsmouth and Newport, restore code of 1647, and elect John Sandford as president......May 17-18, 1653

Providence and Warwick with Portsmouth and Newport in one General Assembly re-establish code of 1647, forbid sale of liquors to Indians, and prohibit French and Dutch trade with them......Aug. 31, 1654

Pawtuxet men withdraw allegiance to Massachusetts, given in 1642, and transfer it to Rhode Island......May 26, 1658

Block Island is granted for public services to Governor Endicott and three others, Oct. 19, 1658, who sell it to Simon Ray and eight associates in 1660; they begin a settlement......1661

Settlement of Misquamicut, now Westerly, begun......1661

Charter of Rhode Island and Providence plantations obtained from Charles II. by John Clarke, agent for the colony......July 8, 1663

[This charter continued in force till 1843-180 years.]

John Clarke presented with £ 100 and payment of his expenses attendant upon the procuring of the charter......Nov. 24, 1663

Boundary dispute between Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut settled by a royal commission......1664

Westerly incorporated as a town......May, 1669

Seventh-Day Baptist Church established at Newport......1671

George Fox, Quaker, preaches in Newport, 1672, and Roger Williams, seventy-three years old, holds a controversy with three disciples of Fox at the Quaker meeting-house at Newport......Aug. 9-12, 1672

Block Island incorporated by the General Assembly, and at the request of the inhabitants named New Shoreham......Nov. 6, 1672

King Philip's War opens by an Indian massacre at Swanze, Mass.......June 24, 1675

Troops repulsed by King Philip, intrenched in a swamp at Pocasset, and he withdraws into Massachusetts......July 18, 1675

First event of King Philip's War in Rhode Island is the massacre of fifteen persons in Bull's garrisoned house at South Kingston about Dec. 15, 1675. Governor Winslow attacks the fort of the Narragansets in a swamp at South Kingston, and after about three hours fighting fires the fort and wigwams......Dec. 19, 1675

Warwick destroyed by Indians......March 16, 1676

Canonchet, chief of the Narragansets, captured, refuses to ransom his life by making peace, is turned over for execution to friendly Indians, who send his head “as a token of love and loyalty” to the commissioners at Hartford......April 4, 1676 [508]

Massacre in a cedar swamp near Warwick of 171 Indians by a party of English who did not lose a man......July 3, 1676

King Philip shot through the heart by an Indian while attempting to escape from a swamp near Mount Hope......Aug. 12, 1676

Governor Benedict Arnold dies June 20, 1678, and is succeeded by William Coddington......Aug. 28, 1678

Governor Coddington dies Nov. 1, 1678, and is succeeded by deputy-governor John Cranston......Nov. 15, 1678

Maj. Peleg Sandford succeeds Cranston as governor, who dies......March 12, 1680

Custom-house established at Newport to enforce the navigation acts published by the beat of drums......April 1, 1681

Assembly first meets at Providence under new charter......Oct. 26, 1681

Roger Williams dies, aged eighty-four, and is buried in Portsmouth......1683

Royal government established in Narraganset, with a court of records, civil and military officers, and Connecticut and Rhode Island excluded from jurisdiction......June, 1686

The “Atherton claim” to land purchased near Warwick from the Indians by Humphrey Atherton, John Winthrop, and others, in 1659, is thrown out by Governor Andros; but other lands are granted the company by the royal council......1687

Gov. Sir Edmund Andros, stopping at Newport for the charter of Rhode Island, is foiled by Governor Clarke, who sends the charter to his brother to be hidden. Andros destroys the seal of the colony and departs......November, 1687

Learning of the accession of William and Mary, Rhode Island resumes the charter government......May 1, 1689

Sir Edmund Andros, who had fled to Rhode Island from Boston, is captured by Major Sandford at Newport, sent back, and is again imprisoned......Aug. 3, 1689

Seven French privateers capture Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Block Island, but part of the fleet, entering the harbor of Newport by night, fails in its surprise......July 14, 1690

Capt. Thomas Paine, from Newport, attacks five French privateers near Block Island, who withdraw after several hours' fighting......July 21, 1690

Admiralty act passed, conferring power of admiralty court on the general council of Rhode Island......Jan. 7, 1695

Law dividing the legislature into an upper House, the council, and a lower House of Delegates from the people......May, 1696

Yearly meeting of Friends established at Newport......1700

Boundary with Connecticut established......May 12, 1703

Two sloops, manned by 120 men, Capt. John Wanton, capture a French privateer with its prize, a sloop loaded with provisions captured the day before near Block Island......June, 1706

Colony of Rhode Island first issues paper money (£ 5,000), to defray the expenses of war......Aug. 16 1710

Latin school in Newport opened by Mr. Galloway......1711

First quarantine act, against small-pox......1711

First edition of the laws of Rhode Island printed in Boston......1719

Thirty-six pirates, captured by Captain Solgard, of British ship Greyhound, off the southeast coast of Long Island, are brought to Newport, tried, and twenty-six sentenced and hanged on Gravelly Point, opposite the town......July 12, 1723

Property qualification for suffrage established, requiring a freehold of value of £ 100 or an annual income of £ 2......Feb. 18, 1724

Boundary-line with Connecticut signed at Westerly......Sept. 27, 1728

George Berkely, dean of Derry, afterwards bishop of Cloyne, arrives in Rhode Island and purchases a farm in Middletown, near New York......Jan. 23, 1730

[After two and a half years he returned to England, giving his farm and a collection of books to Yale College.]

Assembly passes an act for the relief of poor sailors; 6d. a month to be deducted for the purpose from the wages of every Rhode Island seaman......May, 1730

Rhode Island Gazette published by James Franklin, brother of Benjamin, for seven months at Newport; first in the State......Sept. 27, 1732

A private company petitions the legislature to sanction a lottery; suppressed by statute under a penalty of £ 500 and £ 10 for any one who takes a ticket......Jan. 23, 1733 [509]

Sloop Pelican, the first whaling vessel from Rhode Island, arrives at Newport with cargo......June, 1733

Assembly meets at Greenwich for the first time......Feb. 18, 1734

Newport artillery incorporated by act of Assembly......Feb. 1, 1742

Gen. Nathanael Greene born at Potowamet, in township of Warwick......May 22, 1742

Legislature resolves to raise 150 men and to fit out the colony ship Tartar for the siege of Louisburg......May, 1745

Two large privateers, with 400 men, sail from Newport into a northeast snowstorm, are lost, and nearly 200 women in Newport are made widows......Dec. 24, 1745

Eastern boundary of Rhode Island, disputed by Massachusetts and settled by a royal commission in 1741, is confirmed by royal decree received......Nov. 11, 1746

Company of the Redwood Library, formed in 1735 at Newport, receives a charter from the colony......August, 1747

Providence Library Association chartered......Feb. 25, 1754

Newport Mercury first published by James Franklin......1758

Masonic Society in Newport incorporated......June 11, 1759

A lottery for raising $2,400 is granted to erect a masonic hall......1759

Property qualification for right of suffrage modified to $134 freehold, or $7.50 annual rent......1762

Providence Gazette and country journal published in Providence by William Goddard; first issue......Oct. 20, 1762

Jewish synagogue, erected in Newport, dedicated......1763

Brown University, chartered in 1764 as the College of Rhode Island, is opened at Warren......1765

Maidstone, a British vessel, impresses seamen in Newport Harbor; 500 sailors and boys seize one of her boats, drag it to the commons, and burn it......June 4, 1765

Augustus Johnston, Martin Howard, Jr., and Dr. Moffat, who had advocated the Stamp Act, are hanged and burned in effigy at Newport......Aug. 27, 1765

Samuel Ward, of Rhode Island, alone of royal governors, refuses the oath to sustain the Stamp Act taking effect......Nov. 1, 1765

Society “The daughters of liberty” organized by eighteen young ladies at Dr. Ephraim Bowen's house in Providence......March 4, 1766

British armed sloop Liberty making an unprovoked assault on a Connecticut brig, the people of Newport dismantle and scuttle the Liberty and set her adrift......July 17, 1769

College of Rhode Island (Brown University) removed to Providence......1771

British schooner Gaspee, of eight guns, Capt. William Duddington, stationed at Newport, destroyed by a body of armed men......June 9, 1772

Rev. Samuel Hopkins and Rev. Ezra Stiles, of Newport, invite subscriptions to colonize free negroes on the western shores of Africa. This was the inception of the American Colonization Society......August, 1773

People of Newport in town-meeting resolve that any one aiding or abetting the unloading, receiving, or vending of tea sent by the East India Company or others while subject to duty in America, is an enemy to his country......Jan. 12, 1774

General Assembly at Newport elects Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward delegates to Continental Congress......June 15, 1774

Act of May 22, 1744, creating the “Artillery Company of the county of Providence,” amended by changing the name to “The cadet Company of the county of Providence” ......June, 1774

Three hundred pounds of tea publicly burned in Market Square at Providence, with copies of ministerial documents and other obnoxious papers......March 2, 1775

Gov. Joseph Wanton suspended from office, to which he had just been elected for the seventh time, for upholding the action of the British government......May 3, 1775

Admiral Wallace, commanding British fleet in Rhode Island, bombards Bristol, plunders the people, and burns Governor Bradford's house and seventeen others, together with two churches......Oct. 7, 1775

Charles Dudley, the King's collector of customs for Rhode Island, flees for refuge on board a ship-of-war......Nov. 15, 1775

British troops, 250, landed at Providence, are driven to their ships by troops from Warren and Bristol. Dec. 13, 1775 [510]

A false alarm brings troops under Generals Greene, Sullivan, and Washington to Providence, Washington returning to New York......April 7, 1776

Last Colonial Assembly of Rhode Island at Providence, May 1, 1776; abjures allegiance to the British crown......May, 1776

Declaration of Independence celebrated in Rhode Island, which the Assembly names “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” ......July, 1776

William Ellery and Stephen Hopkins, representing Rhode Island, sign the Declaration of Independence......1776

Eight thousand British troops land and take possession of Rhode Island......Nov. 28, 1776

Gen. John Sullivan, appointed by Washington to succeed Gen. Joseph Spencer in command in Rhode Island, arrives at Providence......April 17, 1777

Col. William Barton, of Providence, with forty men, guided by a negro, Quako Honeyman, captures Gen. Richard Prescott at his quarters, about 5 miles from Newport......July 10, 1777

[Prescott is afterwards (May, 1778) exchanged for Gen. Charles Lee, captured by the British in New Jersey, December, 1776.]

Articles of Confederation adopted by Rhode Island......Feb. 9, 1778

British destroy seventy flat-bottomed boats and property on the Kickemuit River, and burn the church and a number of houses at Warren......May 25, 1778

William Ellery, Henry Marchant, and John Collins sign the Articles of Confederation......July 9, 1778

French fleet of eleven sail-of-line ships, under Count d'estaing, appearing off Brenton's Reef, six British war-vessels attempt to leave the harbor. They are pursued, and are run ashore and set on fire by their crews......Aug. 5, 1778

While the French fleet, dispersed by storms, refits at Boston, the British attack the Americans on Butts Hill; the Americans lose 211 men, the British somewhat more......Aug. 29, 1778

Americans under General Sullivan retreat from Rhode Island to Tiverton, Aug. 30, 1778, and the British fleet with the army of Sir Henry Clinton arrives at Newport......Aug. 31, 1778

Maj. Silas Talbot, with the sloop Hawk, captures the Pigot, a British galley which blockaded the eastern passage......Oct. 28, 1778

General Assembly grants £ 500 for distressed inhabitants of Newport......January, 1779

British embark for New York......Oct. 11-25, 1779

French army lands at Newport......July 10, 1780

Public reception given to General Washington in Newport......March 6, 1781

General Assembly authorizes manumission of slaves, makes free negroes or mulattoes born in the State after March 1, 1784, and repeals slavery act of 1774......Feb. 23, 1784

Marine Society, instituted in 1754 under the name of “The fellowship Club,” is chartered......June, 1785

Stephen Hopkins dies near Providence......July 13, 1785

First spinning-jenny in the United States made and put in operation by Daniel Jackson, of Providence......1786

Act passed for emitting £ 100,000 in bills of credit, and making the same a legal tender at par......1786

Newport, incorporated as a city, June 1, 1784, resumes its old form of town government......March 27, 1787

African slave-trade forbidden, with penalties of £ 100 for each person imported from Africa, and £ 1,000 for the vessel......Oct. 29, 1787

Motion made in the General Assembly for the appointment of delegates to the general convention of the colonies at Philadelphia is lost by a majority of twenty-three votes......1787

Providence Association of Mechanics and Manufacturers incorporated......March, 1789

Congress subjects to duty all goods from Rhode Island not of her own production......May, 1789

Assembly addresses the President and Congress of the eleven States, assigning reasons for opposing the Constitution, setting forth its attachment to its democratic charter, and the fear that it would be limited by the new federal system......September, 1789

Act passed repealing the legal tender act of 1786, and promising to redeem the paper at the rate of 15 to 1......Oct. 12, 1789 [511]

After long and bitter opposition the convention assembled at Newport, adopts the federal Constitution and bill of rights by 34 to 32, 5 P. M. Saturday......May 29, 1790

Providence Bank, the oldest in the State, goes into operation......1791

First known copyright granted under the United States law is made to Rev. William Patten, of Newport, for a book entitled Christianity the true theology......May 9, 1795

Marine corps of artillery chartered at Providence......1801

College of Rhode Island changed to Brown University in honor of Nicholas Brown......1804

British occupy Block Island......1813

Commodore Oliver H. Perry leaves Newport to take command of the American squadron on Lake Erie......1813

Friends' school at Portsmouth established in 1784, but discontinued after four years, is revived and established at Providence......1814

President James Monroe visits Rhode Island......June 30, 1817

Rhode Island Historical Society incorporated......1822

Reception given General Lafayette at Providence......Aug. 23, 1824

Commodore Perry dies, aged thirty-four, of yellow fever, on the United States schooner Nonesuch in the harbor of Port Spain, island of Trinidad; buried with military honors at Newport......Dec. 4, 1826

Act establishing public schools throughout the State......January, 1828

Race riot in Providence begins between sailors and negroes, military aid is called in and the riot act read......Sept. 21-24, 1831

City of Providence incorporated......Nov. 22, 1832

Company incorporated to construct a railroad from Providence to Stonington in 1832, and railroad building commenced......1835

Fort Adams in Newport Harbor, begun in 1824, is completed......1839

Convention of delegates elected by friends of extension of suffrage, without regard to the law regulating the right of voting, at Providence, Oct. 4, 1841, forms a people's constitution, and declares it adopted by a vote of the people......Dec. 27-29, 1841

Thomas W. Dorr elected governor under the people's constitution......April 18, 1842

Dorr government attempts to organize, May 3, 1842, but is resisted by legal State government......May 3, 1842

Constitution to supersede the charter of 1663 is framed by a convention which meets at Newport, Sept. 12, 1842, adjourns to East Greenwich, and completes its labors Nov. 5; constitution ratified by vote of the people, 7,032 to 59......Nov. 21-23, 1842

Franklin Lyceum, formed in 1831, is incorporated at Providence......1843

Dorr sentenced to imprisonment for life......June 25, 1844

Dorr, released from prison under an act of general amnesty in 1847, is restored to civil and political rights......1851

Rhode Island adopts the Maine liquor law......May 7, 1852

Newport incorporated as a city......May 20, 1853

Statue of Franklin unveiled at Providence......Nov. 19, 1858

Legislature repeals the personal liberty bill......January, 1861

On news of the fall of Fort Sumter, the governor tenders the United States government 1,000 infantry and a battalion of artillery. He convenes the legislature in extra session, April 17, and the Rhode Island Marine Artillery pass through New York on their way to Washington......April 20, 1861

Legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment......1865

Legislature ratifies the Fourteenth Amendment......Feb. 7, 1867

Board of State charities and correction established......1869

State farm, 421 acres in town of Cranston, afterwards site of State-house of correction, State work-house, State asylum for incurable insane, and State almshouse, is purchased......1869

Rhode Island woman suffrage association convention at Providence......October, 1869

Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is ratified......Jan. 18, 1870

Cove lands ceded to the towns by the colony, May 28, 1707, are conveyed to the city of Providence by the State on payment of $200,000......1870 [512]

Legislature, by 56 to 2, abolishes imprisonment for debt......1870

Statue of Roger Williams, executed for the State by Franklin Simmons, presented to the federal government to be placed in the Capitol......March, 1871

Free public library, art gallery, and museum for the city of Providence chartered......1871

Prohibition party in the State adopt the Republican candidate for governor, Henry Howard......1873

State convention of the Prohibition party at the State-house in Providence nominates “a distinct, separate, teetotal prohibition ticket for State officers,” with Henry Howard for governor, Feb. 26, 1874. The Republican party adopt Howard by acclamation, March 11. The Democratic convention at Providence, March 23, adjourns without platform or ticket......March 23, 1874

Stringent prohibition law is passed, and a constabulary act provided for enforcing it......May, 1874

Vote for governor at election, April 7, 1875: Rowland Hazard, of the National Union Republican and Prohibition parties, 8,724; Henry Lippitt, Republican, 8,368; Charles B. Cutler, Democrat, 5,166. There being no choice, the legislature elects Lippitt by 70, to 36 for Hazard......May 25, 1875

Constabulary act repealed, and an act “to regulate and restrain the sale of intoxicating liquors” passed in its place......1875

Corliss engine of 1,400 horse-power, and weighing 700 tons, by George H. Corliss, of Providence, is set in motion at the opening of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia by President U. S. Grant and Dom Pedro II., Emperor of Brazil......May 10, 1876

There being no choice for governor at the April election, Henry Lippitt, Republican, is chosen by the legislature......May 30, 1876

First board of harbor commissioners appointed by the governor......June 14, 1876 State board of health established......1878

Legislature elects Alfred H. Littlefield, Republican, governor, there being no choice at the election in April......May 25, 1880

Act passed abolishing the tribal authority and relation of the Narraganset Indians......1880

Congress awards the first-class gold medal to Mrs. Ida Lewis Wilson, keeper of Lime Rock light-house, who, since 1859, had saved thirteen lives at the risk of her own......1881

Senator Ambrose E. Burnside, born at Liberty, Ind., 1824, governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69, dies......Sept. 3, 1881

Colored voters of Rhode Island, in convention at Newport, resolve hereafter to act independently of the Republican party......Oct. 18, 1882

Amendment to the State constitution prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, goes into effect......July 1, 1886

Compulsory education act passed requiring at least twelve weeks of school attendance, six of them consecutive, by all children between seven and fifteen years of age......1887

Arbor Day established as a legal holiday......1887

City of Woonsocket incorporated......1888

Bourn amendment to the State constitution, abolishing property qualification for electors, proclaimed by governor......November, 1888

State agricultural school established by act of legislature......1888

Vote at April election for governor: John W. Davis, Democrat, 21,289; H. W. Ladd, Republican, 16,870; James H. Chace, Law Enforcement party, 3,597; H. H. Richardson, Prohibition, 1,346. There being no choice, the legislature chose H. W. Ladd......May 28, 1889

Prohibitory amendment rescinded at a special election, June 20, 1889, and a highlicense law passed......Aug. 1, 1889

Australian ballot-reform law passed......1889

First State convention of the Union Reform party held, and Arnold B. Chace nominated for governor......Feb. 25, 1889

Australian ballot system introduced at State election......April 2, 1889

John W. Davis elected governor by the legislature, there being no choice by the people......May, 1890

Celebration of the centennial of the introduction of cotton-spinning into America begins at Providence......Sept. 29, 1890 [513]

Monument to Samuel Smith Collyer dedicated at Pawtucket at close of cotton centennial celebration......Oct. 4, 1890

Vote for governor: Davis, Democrat, 22,249; Ladd, Republican, 20,995; Larry, Prohibition, 1,829; Burton, National, 384......April 1, 1891

Soldiers' home at Bristol dedicated......May 21, 1891

Herbert W. Ladd, Republican, elected governor by the legislature......May 26, 1891

Ex-Gov. Henry Lippitt dies at Newport, aged seventy-three......June 5, 1891

New State-house authorized and $1,500,000 in bonds ordered issued......1893

Plurality election amendment to the constitution adopted......Nov. 28, 1893

D. Russell Brown re-elected governor......April, 1894

Ocean House at Newport burned......Sept. 9, 1898

Roger Williams Park received $200,000 from Anna H. Man, and $200,000 from Charles H. Smith......1900

The trading-stamp law declared unconstitutional......1900

New City Hall, Newport, completed......October, 1900

Constitutional amendment changing time of election, adopted......November, 1900

New State-house completed......1901

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