[33][34][35], Despite the initial Puritan mass migration also having a 2:1 male sex-imbalance like the British colonization of the Chesapeake Colonies,[36][37] unlike the Southern Colonies 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),[31][37] 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). Under its provisional president Joseph Dudley, the disputed "King's Country" (present-day Washington County) was brought into the dominion, and the rest of the colony was brought under dominion control by Governor Sir Edmund Andros. On November 3, 2020, Rhode Island voters will consider an amendment to the state constitution to remove “Providence Plantations” from the state name. [11], 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. After repeated surveys, a mutually agreeable line was defined and surveyed in 1728.[21]. In one of the final actions of the war, troops from Connecticut killed King Philip (Metacom) in Mount Hope, Rhode Island. p. 179. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello attracted quite a lot of attention when he questioned that fact in a radio interview on Friday, June 19: “Quite frankly, I have to educate myself, because I originally did not think we had actual slavery in Rhode Island, and that may not be accurate.” The Providence Journal reported that he was “forced to backpedal.” Before we pile onto the public ridicule of Mattiello as an ignoramous, it is worth quoting Joanne Pope Melish (whose PhD is from Brown) in her 1998 book, Disowning Slavery: In Connecticut in the 1950s, when I was growing up, the only slavery discussed in my history textbook was southern; New Englanders had marched south to end slavery. Roger Williams was a Puritan theologian and linguist who founded Providence Plantations in 1636 on land given to him by Narragansett sachem Canonicus. [20], 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. Also adjudicated in the 1741 decision was the award of most of Cumberland to Rhode Island from Massachusetts. It was in Rhode Island, where I lived after 1964, that I first stumbled across an obscure reference to local slavery, but almost no one I asked knew anything about it. It was founded by Roger Williams. display: none !important; What happened to freed slaves? Several considerations probably motivated this action, including a desire to use proceeds from sales to compensate those, including Williams, who suffered property losses incurred in the destruction of the city, but also to avoid setting the captives free where they could, the settlers feared, resume the war. [21] 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. When the parliamentary charter was finally replaced in 1663 by a royal charter, it recognized “our Island called Rhode Island and the rest of the Colonie of Providence Plantations.”. [14], The bedrock of the economy continued to be agriculture – especially dairy farming – and fishing; lumber and shipbuilding also became major industries. Story at a glance. Importantly, Rhode Island remained neutral, refusing to join the New England Confederation of English settlers from Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Haven Colony, Plymouth Colony, and Connecticut Colony. The "Providence Plantations" in the state's official name comes from the settlement founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, which now includes the state's capital, Providence… [9][10] 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's early compacts did not stipulate the boundary on the eastern shore of Narrangansett Bay, and did not include any of Washington County, land that belonged to the Narragansett people. The settlers adopted a covenant which stressed the separation of religious and civil affairs. The eastern boundary was also an area of dispute with Massachusetts. Rhode Island considers taking 'plantation' out of its official state name. The clergyman Roger Williams, banished by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay for propagating "new and dangerous opinions," founded the Providence Plantations in June 1636. Rhode Island has an ugly and shameful history with slavery, but none of that has to do with “plantations” in its official name. Here's Why It Was Ignored", "Letter from Certain Citizens of Rhode Island to the Federal Convention", HISTORICAL CENSUS STATISTICS ON POPULATION TOTALS BY RACE, 1790 TO 1990, AND BY HISPANIC ORIGIN, 1970 TO 1990, FOR THE UNITED STATES, REGIONS, DIVISIONS, AND STATES, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colony_of_Rhode_Island_and_Providence_Plantations&oldid=996373301, Former British colonies and protectorates in the Americas, States and territories established in 1636, 1776 disestablishments in the British Empire, 1636 establishments in the British Empire, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox country or infobox former country with the symbol caption or type parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2011, Rhode Island articles missing geocoordinate data, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Other British colonial entities in the contemporary, Non-British colonial entities in the contemporary United States. Rhode Island has dropped “Providence Plantations” from its official state name, according to The Associated Press. Your email address will not be published. [5], In 1651, William Coddington 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 and Massachusetts Bay Colony. “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” has been the official full name of the state since the colonial era, created by the unification of the original “four towns,” which in order of their dates of founding were Providence (1636), Pocasset/Portsmouth (1638), Newport (1639), and Shawomet/Warwick (1642). [3], In 1637, another group of Massachusetts dissenters purchased land from the Indians on Aquidneck Island, which was called Rhode Island at the time, and they established a settlement called Pocasset. [38] By the American Revolutionary War, only 2 percent of the New England colonial labor force 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 (as compared with only 3 percent in the Southern Colonies). [6], Following the 1660 restoration of royal rule in England, it was necessary to gain a Royal Charter from King Charles II. Rhode Island voters will decide on Election Day whether or not to remove the phrase “Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name.  −  Our state’s official full name is “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Supporters of the proposed name change want to drop “Providence Plantations,” claiming the name itself conjures up images of slavery. For the state of Rhode Island , years of acrimony over an official designation with connotations of slavery. As I explained in a review of God, War, and Providence by James A. Warren (motifri.com/summer2018-nonfiction) —. The traditional New England custom of “warning out” anyone poor and indigent so they did not become a public charge was practiced by many towns: in 1750, only 5% of those “warned out” were black, but this rose to 22% by 1790 and 50% by 1800; those exiled from towns were not strangers, as 37% had lived there for at least five years and 26% for at least 10 years. four Of an estimated 10 million slaves abducted from Africa, about a half million (5%) were brought to what is now the United States, and most were brought to the Caribbean and Latin America. Rhode Island's northern border with Massachusetts also underwent a number of changes. Both settlements were situated on Rhode Island (Aquidneck). 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. Rhode Island Gov. By the 1860s, as the North grew into the world’s industrial powerhouse with factories, railroads, telegraph lines, and consequent wealth, the South remained trapped by its addiction to a feudal system that benefited a few who owned land and slaves but prevented the development of modernity and a middle class, and eventually those privileged few were desperate enough to preserve their own interests that they plunged the nation into a bloody civil war lasting four years, 1861-1865, with a cost of 600,000 lives lost. The word “plantation” had no such association with slavery in the 1630s: it was in common use by 1610 to suggest both the idea of “planting” a colony that would grow and “planting” crops in a way that would prove economically productive; the earliest use of the word to describe a large farm of the kind needing slaves is not found until 1706. But Rhode Island didn’t just have slaves, it had disproportionately more than the other New England colonies. 15. It was an English colony from 1636 until 1707, and then a colony of Great Britain until the American Revolution in 1776, when it became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (since 2020[1] known simply as Rhode Island). Gorton returned in 1648 with a letter from Rich, ordering Massachusetts to cease molesting him and his people. Some tribes, including the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Narragansett, and Pocumtuck fought against the English settlers, while other tribes, including the Mohegan and Mohawk, fought with the English settlers. In part because, during the American Revolution, the British offered freedom to any slave who could escape to their lines, an effort to sabotage the revolutionist economy. Slaves were introduced at this time, although there is no record of any law re-legalizing slave holding. [4], The second plantation settlement on the mainland was Samuel Gorton's Shawomet Purchase from the Narragansetts in 1642. The Navigation Acts passed in the 1660s were widely disliked, since merchants often found themselves trapped and at odds with the rules. During winter they had very harsh weather and cold summers ranging from 70 to the mid 70’s. While the official state name includes “Providence Plantations” in reference to the mainland colony founded by Roger Williams in 1636, Raimondo said … .hide-if-no-js { Some of the tribes who sided with the settlers during the war acquired captives from the defeated tribes as slaves. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Rhode Island never had large farms on the scale of slave plantations in the South, but it certainly did have slaves. [15], Leading figures in the colony were involved in the 1776 launch of the American Revolutionary War which delivered American independence from the British Empire, such as former royal governors Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, as well as John Brown, Nicholas Brown, William Ellery, the Reverend James Manning, and the Reverend Ezra Stiles, each of whom had played an influential role in founding Brown University in Providence in 1764 as a sanctuary for religious and intellectual freedom. A large slave-holding estate in rural southern Rhode Island might have 40 slaves, and there were only a handful of such estates; in the Southern states, a single estate could have hundreds of slaves. That settlement, however, quickly split into two separate settlements. In the following years, many persecuted groups settled in the colony, notably Quakers and Jews. But, the history of how we got this name is often forgotten,” the petition reads. [7][8] During King Philip's War (1675–1676), both sides regularly violated Rhode Island's neutrality. The rule of Andros was extremely unpopular, especially in Massachusetts. But the order would shorten it to just “Rhode Island”. June 24, 2020 / 11:44 AM / CBS News The state of Rhode Island is moving to change its official name — "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" — due … Presentism is History’s cardinal sin. 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