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Title: A short history of Rhode Island
Author: Greene, George Washington
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A short history of Rhode Island" ***

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                             SHORT HISTORY
                             RHODE ISLAND,


                    GEORGE WASHINGTON GREENE, LL.D.,

                    AMERICAN REVOLUTION," ETC., ETC.


                    J. A. & R. A. REID, PUBLISHERS,

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by
                           ANNA MARIA GREENE,
    in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.


                           Anna Maria Greene,

                            MY DEAR MOTHER:

You bear your ninety-three years so lightly that I invite your
attention to a new volume of mine with as much assurance of your
sympathy as when I crowed and wondered over my first picture book an
infant on your knee. For your sympathy is as quick and as warm as it
was then, and your memory goes back with unerring certainty to the men
and the scenes of almost a century ago. Your eyes have looked upon
Washington, and your tenacious memory can still recall the outline of
his majestic form.

The first time that I ventured to send forth a volume to the world,
I set upon the dedication page the name of my father. He has been dead
many years. You still linger behind, and long may you linger. Long
may those fresh memories which give such a charm to your daily life
continue to cheer you and instruct those who have the privilege of
living with you. They have seen life imperfectly who have not seen what
a charm it wears when the heart that has beat so long still lends its
genial warmth to the still inquiring mind.


                                           GEORGE W. GREENE.


There are two classes of history, each of which has claims upon our
attention peculiarly its own. One is a sober teacher, the other a
pleasant companion. One opens new paths of thought, the other throws
new light upon the old, and both agree in making man the chief object
of their meditations.

Nearly two thousand years ago a Roman historian likened the life of his
country to the life of man. Time has confirmed the parallel. Nations,
like men, have their infancy and their youth, their robust manhood and
their garrulous old age. Their lives like the lives of men are full of
encouragement and of warning. Interpret them aright and they become
trusty guides. Misapply their lessons and you grope in the dark and
stumble at every step.

And both states and men have their special duties and were created for
special ends. The God that made them assigned to each its problem,
and to work this out is to work out His will. Of this problem history
is the record and the interpreter. It tells us what man has been, and
thereby aids us to divine what he yet may be.

If with the philosopher history reveals the laws of life, with the poet
she recalls the past and stirs human sympathies in their profoundest
depths. Man follows man on her checkered stage; nations rise and fall;
mysteries enchain us; imagination controls us; reason guides us;
conscience admonishes and warns; and first and foremost of all our
stimulants to action is our sympathy with our fellow-man.

I have attempted in the following pages to tell what the part of Rhode
Island has been in this great drama. A talent was entrusted to her. Did
she wrap it in a napkin?

To those who are familiar with the accurate and exhaustive work of
Governor Arnold, it will be needless to say that but for the aid of his
volumes, mine would never have been written.

                                             GEORGE W. GREENE.

_East Greenwich, R. I., April 8th, 1877_.

                           Analytical Table.

                               CHAPTER I.


        The religious sentiment connected with the
          foundation of states,                                  1

        Resistance to the doctrine of theocracy occasioned
          the settlement of Rhode Island,                        2

  1631. Ship Lyon arrived at Boston, bringing Roger
          Williams,                                              2

        Early life of Williams,                                  2

        Massachusetts in possession of two distinct
          colonies,                                              3

        In Massachusetts Colony the clergy were virtually
          rulers, and they were extremely rigid,                 3

        Disputes between Williams and the authorities of
          Massachusetts Bay Colony,                              4

        Removal of Williams to Plymouth,                         4

        Williams makes friendship with Massasoit and
          Miantonomi,                                            5

        Learns the Indian language,                              5

        Williams returns to Salem,                               5

  1635. He is persecuted and finally banished,                   6

        Articles of banishment,                                  6

                              CHAPTER II.


        Attempt to send Williams to England,                     7

        His flight,                                              8

        He is fed by the Indians,                                8

        He is given land on the Seekonk River by Massasoit
          and starts a settlement,                               8

        He receives a friendly letter from the Governor of
          Plymouth asking him to remove,                         9

        He starts with five companions in a canoe to find
          a place for a settlement, and finally lands at
          Providence,                                            9

                              CHAPTER III.


        Early inhabitants of Rhode Island,                      11

        Williams makes peace between Canonicus and Massasoit,   12

        He receives a grant of land from Canonicus and begins
          a settlement,                                         12

        Compact of the colonists at Providence,                 13

        Experiment of separation of church from state tried
          in the new Colony,                                    13

        The right of suffrage not regarded as a natural right.
          Illustrated by Joshua Verin and his wife,             14

        1639. The first church founded in Providence,           15

        Five select men appointed to govern the Colony, subject
          to the action of the Monthly Town Meeting,            15

        Massachusetts Colony applied for a new charter to cover
          the land occupied by Providence,                      15

  1643. Providence in connection with Aquidneck and Warwick
          sent Williams to England to obtain a Royal charter,   15

  1644. Williams returns in 1644 successful, and is
          received with exultation,                             16

                              CHAPTER IV.


  1637. Anna Hutchinson arrived in Massachusetts and banished,  17

        Nineteen of her followers under William Coddington
          and John Clarke, purchased the Island of
          Aquidneck and formed settlements at Pocasset and
          Newport,                                              17

        Roger Williams proclaimed the right of religious
          liberty to every human being,                         18

        Samuel Gorton banished from Pocasset,                   19

        He denied the authority of all government except
          that authorized by the King and Parliament,           19

        He, with eleven others, bought Shawomet and settled
          there,                                                19

        He is besieged by troops from Massachusetts, is
          captured, imprisoned, and afterwards released,        19

        He is appointed to a magistracy in Aquidneck,           19

        Roger Williams prevented the alliance of the
          Pequots and Narragansetts, and formed one between
          the English and the Narragansetts,                    21

        Pequots rooted out and crushed,                         21

        Miantonomi treacherously put to death,                  22

        The Narragansetts put themselves under the protection
          of the English,                                       22

                               CHAPTER V.


  1643. The charter granted to Providence Plantations,          23

        Provisions of the charter,                              23

  1647. The corporators met at Portsmouth and in a general
          assembly accepted the charter, and proceeded to
          organize under it,                                    24

        The government declared to be democratical,             24

        President and other officers chosen,                    25

        Description of the code of laws,                        25

        Design for a seal adopted,                              26

        Roger Williams presented with one hundred pounds
          for services in obtaining the charter,                26

        Spirit of the law,                                      27

                              CHAPTER VI.


        Death of Canonicus,                                     28

        Possibility of the doctrine of soul liberty
          demonstrated,                                         28

        Dissensions among the colonists,                        29

        Troubles with Massachusetts,                            29

        Baptists persecuted in Massachusetts,                   30

        1651. Coddington obtained a royal commission as
          Governor of Rhode Island and Connecticut for life,
          which virtually dissolved the first charter,          30

        Roger Williams sent to England to ask for a
          confirmation of the charter,                          31

        John Clarke, also, sent to ask for a revocation of
          Coddington's commission,                              31

  1652. Slaves not allowed to be held in bondage longer than
          ten years,                                            32

        Commerce with the Dutch of Manhattan interrupted by
          war between England and Holland,                      32

        Coddington's commission revoked and the first charter
          restored,                                             32

                              CHAPTER VII.


        Conscience claimed as the rule of action in civil
          as well as religious matters,                         33

        Contentions between the Island and the main-land
          towns,                                                34

  1654. Court of Commissioners met and effected a reunion
          in the Colony,                                        34

        Attempts of the United Colonies to make war on the
          Narragansetts, but they failed, as Williams had
          influenced Massasoit not to sanction it,              35

        Qualification of citizenship,                           36

        Duties of citizenship ascendant over dignity of
          office,                                               37

        Protection of marriage,                                 38

        The Pawtuxet controversy settled by acknowledgement
          of the claims of Rhode Island,                        38

        Fort built for protection against Indians,              39

        Quakers arrived. Difference of treatment of them
          between Rhode Island and Massachusetts,               39

  1663. A new charter granted by Charles II. and accepted
          by the colonists,                                     40

                             CHAPTER VIII.


        The new charter gave a democratic government,           41

        Some of its provisions,                                 41

        Religious liberty recognized by it,                     42

        Assembly and courts reörganized,                        43

        State magistrates chosen by the freemen,                44

        Jealousy of Massachusetts,                              44

        Trouble concerning the ownership of Narragansett,       45

        Attempt to dispossess Rhode Island of part of her
          territory,                                            46

        The Narragansetts compelled to mortgage their lands
          to the United Colonies,                               47

        New charter obtained by Connecticut extending its
          bounds to the Narragansett River,                     48

  1663. The boundary line left to arbitrators who fix it at
          the Pawcatuck River,                                  49

        The intrigues of John Scott for the purchase of the
          Narragansett tract,                                   49

        Letter obtained from the King, putting the
          Narragansett purchase under protection of
          Massachusetts and Connecticut,                        50

        This was rendered null by the second charter of
          Rhode Island grant soon afterward,                    51

        Wampum used as money in the Colony,                     52

        Also used as an article of ornament by the natives,     52

  1652. Massachusetts began to coin silver in 1652,             53

        Rhode Island abolished the use of wampum ten years
          later,                                                53

  1662. New England shilling made legal tender in Rhode
          Island,                                               53

  1640-1663. First schools established at Providence and
          Newport,                                              53

        Affirmation is declared to be equal to an oath,         54

                              CHAPTER IX.


  1663. Block Island added to Rhode Island,                     55

        Regulations concerning its admission,                   56

        It is incorporated under the name of New Shoreham,      56

        Four Commissioners sent to America to reduce the
          Dutch and settle all questions of appeal between
          the colonies,                                         57

        The vexed questions of boundary line between
          Rhode Island and Plymouth; the Narragansett
          question and Warwick difficulties referred to the
          Commissioners, who referred the first to the King
          and decided the second in favor of Rhode Island,      57

        The Indians removed from King's Province,               59

        Five propositions submitted by the Commissioners to
          the Rhode Island Assembly,                            59

        1st. All householders should take the oath of
          allegiance to the King,                               59

        2d. Mode of admitting freemen,                          59

        3d. Admission to the sacrament open to all well
          disposed persons,                                     60

        4th. All laws and resolves derogatory to the King
          repealed,                                             60

        5th. Provisions for self-defence,                       60

  1672. Trouble with John Paine concerning Prudence Island,     62

        Members of the Assembly to be paid for their
          services,                                             63

        Financial difficulties in the Colony,                   64

  1667. Preparations for defence against the French,            64

  1672. Act passed to facilitate the collection of taxes,       65

                               CHAPTER X.

                           KING PHILIP'S WAR.

        Wamsutta summoned before the General Court at Plymouth, 67

        His death,                                              67

        Indignation of the Indians, especially King Philip,     68

        Condition of the Indians,                               68

        Attack on Swanzey,                                      69

        The Indians pursued by the English,                     69

        Philip and his allies besieged in a swamp at Pocasset,  71

        His escape,                                             71

        The Indian attack on Hadley,                            71

        Goffe, the regicide,                                    72

        Philip joined the Narragansetts,                        72

        Battle in the swamp,                                    73

        Indians defeated, and their village destroyed,          74

        Depredations in Rhode Island,                           75

        Death of Canonchet,                                     76

        Death of Philip and end of the war,                     77

        Condition of the country after the war,                 77

                              CHAPTER XI.


        Precautions against the Indians,                        78

        Troubles with Connecticut concerning Narragansett,      79

        Two agents sent to England,                             80

        War party obtains power,                                80

        Foundation of East Greenwich,                           82

        Bitter controversy concerning the limits and extent
          of the Providence and Pawtuxet purchase,              82

  1696-1712. Settled in 1696 and 1712,                          83

                              CHAPTER XII.


        The United Colonies still encroached upon Rhode
          Island,                                               84

        Deaths of John Clarke, Roger Williams, Samuel
          Gorton, William Harris, and William Coddington,       85

  1678. Financial condition of the Colony in 1678,              88

        Changes in the usages of election,                      89

        Bankrupt law passed and afterwards repealed,            89

        Law concerning disputed titles to lands,                90

        1679. Law for the protection of servants,               91

        Law for the protection of sailors,                      91

        John Clawson's curse,                                   92

                             CHAPTER XIII.


        Disputes concerning the title of Potowomut,             93

  1680. Power of the town to reject or accept new citizens,     93

        Efficiency of the courts increased,                     94

        English navigation act injures the commercial
          interests of the Colony,                              95

        Commissioners appointed to settle the vexed
          question of the King's Province,                      96

        Rhode Island's position in New England in regard to
          the other colonies,                                   96

        Trouble with the Commissioners,                         97

        Charter revoked,                                        98

        Rhode Island returned to its original form of
          government,                                           98

                              CHAPTER XIV.


        John Greene sent to England with an address to the
          King for the preservation of the charter,            100

        Changes in the names and the boundaries of
          Kingston, Westerly and East Greenwich,               101

        1687. Arrival of Sir Edmond Andros,                    101

        Taxes farmed out,                                      102

        Marriages made illegal unless performed by the rites
          of the English Church,                               103

        Passport system introduced,                            103

        Composition of the council,                            103

        Andros's commission enlarged,                          105

        The press subjected to the will of the Governor,       105

        Title of Rhode Island to King's Province again
          confirmed,                                           106

        Persecution of the Huguenots,                          107

        Andros deposed,                                        107

                              CHAPTER XV.


        Chief-Justice Dudley attempted to open his court,
          he is seized and imprisoned,                         108

        Return of the old form of government,                  108

        Legality of resumption confirmed by the King,          109

  1690. The Assembly reorganized,                              110

        Town house built,                                      111

        The colonists taxed to sustain the French and
          Indian war,                                          112

        Coast invaded by French privateers,                    112

        New taxes levied,                                      113

        Small-pox broke out in the Colony,                     113

  1691. Sir William Phipps appointed Governor of
          Massachusetts with command over all the forces of
          New England,                                         114

        This command over the forces of Rhode Island
          restricted to time of war,                           115

  1693. First mail line established between Boston
          and Virginia,                                        116

        State officers to be paid a regular salary,            116

        Assembly divided into two houses,                      116

        Indians still troublesome,                             117

        Courts of Admiralty established in the Colony,         117

  1697-1698. Trouble from enemies to the charter government,   117

        Interests of trade fostered,                           118

        Smuggling common,                                      118

        Charges made against the Colony by the Royal
          Governor,                                            119

        Captain Kidd,                                          119

                              CHAPTER XVI.


  1702. Prosperity of the Colony,                              120

        Providence the second town in the Colony,              120

        Religious freedom,                                     120

        Attempt to establish a Vice-Royalty over the Colonies, 122

  1701. Better Laws enacted,                                   123

  1702. Preparations for defence,                              123

  1703. Boundary line between Rhode Island and
          Connecticut finally settled,                         124

        The character and interest of the Colony
          misunderstood by England,                            124

        French privateer captured,                             125

        Further acts of the Assembly,                          126

        Slave trade,                                           127

  1708. First census taken,                                    127

        Public auctions first held,                            128

        Commercial and agricultural progress,                  128

  1709. First printing press set up at Newport,                129

        Internal improvements,                                 130

                             CHAPTER XVII.


        Issue of paper money,                                  131

        Clerk of the Assembly first elected from outside
            the House,                                         131

        Arts of peace resumed,                                 132

        New militia laws enacted,                              132

        Laws concerning trade,                                 133

        Troubles occasioned by paper money,                    134

  1715. Banks established in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,   134

        Paper money question carried into election,            134

        Improvements in Newport,                               136

        Criminal code,                                         136

  1716. School-houses built in Portsmouth,                     136

        Punishment of slander,                                 137

        Indian lands taken under the protection of the Colony, 137

        Law concerning intestates,                             137

  1719. First edition of the laws printed,                     138

        Boundary troubles,                                     138

        Industry of the Colony protected by loans and
           bounties,                                           138

  1724. Freehold act passed,                                   139

  1723. Pirate captured,                                       139

        Evidences of the progress of the Colony,               139

  1727. Death of Governor Cranston,                            141

                             CHAPTER XVIII.


        New Governor elected,                                  142

        State of affairs in England,                           142

  1728. Revision of the criminal code,                         143

        Laws for the encouragement and regulation of trade,    144

  1727. Earthquake,                                            145

  1723-1724. Division of the Colony into counties,             146

        George Berkeley,                                       146

        Establishment of Redwood Library,                      147

        Laws concerning charitable institutions, Quakers
          and Indians,                                         147

  1730. New census taken,                                      148

  1731. New bank voted,                                        149

        Commercial prosperity,                                 149

        New edition of the laws published,                     149

        Fisheries encouraged,                                  150

        Regulation concerning election,                        150

        William Wanton chosen Governor,                        152

        Depreciation of paper money,                           152

  1733. Marriage laws,                                         152

        John Wanton chosen Governor,                           153

        Watchfulness of the Board of Trade,                    153

  1735-1736. Throat distemper,                                 154

        Law against bribery at elections,                      154

        Arrival of his Majesty's ship Tartar,                  155

        Means of protection against fire,                      155

                              CHAPTER XIX.


        Preparation for war against the Spaniards,             156

        Great expedition against the Spanish West Indies,      157

        New taxes levied on importations by England,           157

        Death of Governor Wanton, who is succeeded by
          Richard Ward,                                        158

        Arrival of Whitefield and Fothergill,                  159

        Further provisions for the defence of the Colony,      159

        Report of the Governor concerning paper money,         160

        1741. Boundary line between Rhode Island and
          Massachusetts settled,                               161

                              CHAPTER XX.


        Privateers fitted out,                                 162

  1741. James Greene started an iron works,                    162

        Changes of the jurisdictions of the courts,            163

        Encroachments of Connecticut,                          163

  1741. Newport Artillery chartered,                           165

        Counterfeit bills troublesome,                         164

  1744. Lotteries legalized,                                   165

        Rhode Island's part in the capture of Louisburg,       165

        Death of Colonel John Cranston,                        166

        Two privateers and two hundred men lost,               166

        Sense of common interest and mutual dependence
          gaining ground,                                      166

        Caution against fraudulent voting,                     167

        Disaster to the French armada,                         168

  1746. Close of the campaign,                                 168

        Accession of territory,                                168

                              CHAPTER XXI.


  1748. Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle,                              170

        Hutchinson's scheme for returning to specie payment
          rejected by Rhode Island,                            171

        Act against swearing revised,                          172

        Provisions concerning legal residence,                 172

        New census taken,                                      172

  1748-1749. Death of John Callender,                          173

        Beaver Tail Light built,                               173

        Troubles from depreciation of currency,                173

  1754. First divorce granted,                                 174

        Kent County formed,                                    174

  1752. Gregorian calendar adopted,                            175

        Troubles concerning the Narragansett land settled,     175

  1753. First patent granted in the Colony for making potash,  175

        Fellowship Club founded--afterwards the Newport
          Marine Society,                                      176

  1754. Commissioners sent to the Albany Congress,             176

        French and Indian war,                                 177

        French settlers imprisoned,                            178

        Ward and Hopkins contest,                              178

        Providence court house and library burned,             179

        David Douglass built a theatre at Providence,          180

  1758. Newport Mercury established,                           180

  1762. Providence Gazette established,                        180

        Writs of assistance first called for,                  181

  1759. Death of Richard Partridge,                            181

        Freemasonry first introduced into the Colony,          181

        Regulations concerning fires,                          181

        Towns of Hopkinton and Johnston formed,                182

                             CHAPTER XXII.


        Resumé of the progress of the Colony,                  183

        Reason for the enactment of the laws,                  184

        Rhode Island's solution of the problem of
          self-government and soul-liberty,                    185

        Encroachments of England on the liberties of the
          colonies,                                            186

        War had taught the colonies a much needed lesson,      187

        Harbor improvements,                                   188

        Parliament votes men and money for the defence of
          the American colonies,                               188

        Restrictions of commerce,                              189

  1764. Molasses and sugar act renewed and extended,           189

        Resistance to the enforcement of the obnoxious
          revenue laws,                                        190

        Action of the colonies in regard to the stamp act,     191

        England is obliged to repeal the stamp act,            193

        Resistance to impressment,                             193

  1765. Second Colonial Congress met at New York and issued
          addresses to the people, Parliament, and to the
          King,                                                194

        New digest of the laws completed and printed,          195

  1766. Free schools established at Providence,                196

        Brown University founded,                              196

        Iron mine discovered,                                  197

                             CHAPTER XXIII.


        Collision between British officers and citizens,       199

        Dedication of liberty trees,                           199

        Laws concerning domestic interests,                    199

        Transit of Venus,                                      200

        Armed resistance to England more openly talked of,     201

        Scuttling of the sloop-of-war Liberty,                 202

        Non-importation of tea agreed to,                      203

        Prosperity of Newport,                                 203

        First Commencement at Rhode Island College,            204

  1770. Further introduction of slaves prohibited,             204

        Governor Hutchinson advanced a claim for the
          command of the Rhode Island militia,                 205

        Evidence of justice in Rhode Island,                   206

        Capture and destruction of the schooner Gaspee,        207

                             CHAPTER XXIV.


  1774. Limitation of negro slavery,                           210

        Resolution recommending the union of the colonies
          passed at Providence town meeting,                   210

  1774. Boston port bill passed,                               211

        Small-pox at Newport,                                  211

        Indication of popular indignation,                     212

        Activity of Committees of Correspondence,              212

        Publishment of the Hutchinson letters,                 213

        Franklin removed from his position as superintendent
          of American post-offices,                            214

  1774. General Gage entered Boston as Governor,               215

        Sympathy of Rhode Island for Boston; East Greenwich
          the first to open a subscription,                    215

        Hopkins and Ward elected delegates to Congress,        216

  1774. Congress met in Philadelphia; adopted a declaration
          of rights; recommended the formation of an American
          Association,                                         217

        Distribution of arms,                                  218

        Exportation of sheep stopped; manufacture of
          fire-arms begun,                                     219

        Tea burnt at Providence,                               219

        Troops started for Boston,                             219

        Army of Observation formed with Nathanael Greene,
          commander,                                           220

        Rhode Island troops on Jamaica Plains,                 221

        Articles of war passed,                                221

        Capture of a British vessel by Captain Abraham
          Whipple,                                             221

        Rhode Island Navy founded,                             222

        William Goddard's postal system went into operation,   222

        Colony put upon a war footing,                         223

        Bristol bombarded and the coast of Rhode Island
          plundered,                                           224

        Part of the debt of Rhode Island assumed by
          Congress as a war debt,                              225

        Rhode Island in the expedition against Quebec,         226

        Depredation of the British squadron,                   226

        Battle on Prudence Island,                             227

        Evacuation of Boston,                                  228

        Death of Samuel Ward,                                  228

        The Assembly of Rhode Island renounced their
          allegiance to the British Crown,                     228

                              CHAPTER XXV.


        Islands and waters of Rhode Island taken possession
          of by the British,                                   229

        Quota of Rhode Island,                                 230

        Inoculation introduced,                                231

        Treatment of Tories,                                   231

        Declaration of Independence indorsed by the Assembly,  232

        Rhode Island's part in the Continental Navy,           232

        Convention of Eastern States to form a concerted
          plan of action,                                      233

        Financial troubles,                                    234

        Regiment of negroes raised,                            234

  1778. Tidings of the French alliance received,               235

        Expedition against Bristol and Warren,                 235

        Attempt to drive the British from Rhode Island
          rendered unsuccessful by a terrible storm, and
          jealousy among the officers of the French fleet,     236

                             CHAPTER XXVI.


        Disappointment of the Americans,                       241

        Wanton destruction of life and property by the
          British,                                             241

        Pigot galley captured by Talbot,                       242

        Scarcity of food in Rhode Island,                      242

        Steuben's tactics introduced into the army,            244

        Difficulty in raising money,                           244

        British left Newport,                                  245

        Town records carried off by the British,               246

        Repudiation of debt,                                   247

        Rhode Island's quota,                                  248

        Preparations for quartering and feeding the troops,    249

        An English fleet of sixteen ships menaced the Rhode
          Island coast,                                        250

        Assembly met at Newport; the first time in four
          years,                                               250

  1781. End of the war,                                        251

        The federation completed,                              251

                             CHAPTER XXVII.


        Name of King's County changed to Washington,           252

        New census taken,                                      253

        Question of State Rights raised, 253

  1782. Nicholas Cooke died,                                   254

        Armed resistance to the collection of taxes,           254

        Troubles arising from financial embarrassment,         255

  1783. Acts of the Assembly,                                  256

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.


        Desperate attempt to float a new issue of paper money, 257

        Forcing acts declared unconstitutional,                258

        First spinning-jenny made in the United States,        259

        Bill passed to pay five shillings in the pound for
          paper money,                                         260

        Refusal of Rhode Island to send delegates to the
          Federal Convention,                                  261

        Proposed United States Constitution printed,           261

        Acceptance of the Constitution by various states,      261

        State of manufactures,                                 262

  1790. Rhode Island declared her adhesion to the Union,       264

                             CHAPTER XXIX.


        Early condition of the land,                           265

        Agriculture the principal pursuit of the early
          settlers,                                            266

        Early traveling,                                       267

        Early means of education,                              267

        Amusements,                                            268

                              CHAPTER XXX.


        Rhode Island wiser on account of her previous
          struggles for self-government,                       270

        Commercial condition of Rhode Island,                  271

        Trade with East Indies commenced,                      271

  1790. First cotton factory went into operation,              273

  1799. Free school system established,                        273

  1819. Providence Institution for Savings founded,            274

        Canal from the Providence River to the north line
          of the state projected and failed,                   274

  1801. Great fire in Providence,                              274

        Visit of Washington to Rhode Island,                   275

  1832. Providence made a city,                                275

        Rhode Island in the War of 1812,                       276

                             CHAPTER XXXI.

                          THE DORR REBELLION.

        The Right of Suffrage becomes the question of Rhode
          Island's politics,                                   277

        Inequality of representation,                          278

        No relief obtainable from the Assembly,                278

        Formation of Suffrage Associations,                    279

        Peoples' Constitution, so called, voted for,           279

  1842. Thomas Wilson Dorr elected Governor under it,          280

        Conflict between the old and new government,           280

        Attempt of the Dorr government to organize and
          seize the arsenal both failures,                     281

        End of the War,                                        281

        Dorr tried for treason and sentenced to imprisonment
          for life; afterwards restored to his political and
          civil rights,                                        281

        New Constitution adopted,                              282

        Freedom of thought and speech the foundation of
          Rhode Island's prosperity,                           282

                             CHAPTER XXXII.


        Life under the Constitution,                          283

        The War of the Rebellion,                             283

        Rhode Island's quota,                                 284

        The Centennial Exposition,                            285


        King Charles' Charter,                                291

        Present State Constitution,                           301

        Copy of the Dorr Constitution,                        317

        State seal,                                           333

        Governors of Rhode Island,                            334

        Deputy-Governors of Rhode Island,                     337

        Members of the Continental Congress,                  339

        Towns, date of incorporation, &c.,                    340

        Population from 1708 to 1875,                         345

        State valuation,                                      348

        The Corliss Engine at the Centennial Exposition,      349

                    A Short History of Rhode Island.

                               CHAPTER I.


The nations of antiquity, unable to discover their real origin, found
a secret gratification in tracing it to the Gods. Thus a religious
sentiment was connected with the foundation of states, and the building
of the city walls was consecrated by religious rites. The Christian
middle ages preserved the spirit of Pagan antiquity, and every city
celebrated with solemn rites the day of its patron saint. The colonies,
which, in the natural progress of their development, became the United
States of America, traced their history, by authentic documents, to
the first Christian cultivators of the soil; and in New England the
religious idea lay at the root of their foundation and development. In
Plymouth it took the form of separatism, or a simple severance from the
Church of England. In Massachusetts Bay it aimed at the establishment
of a theocracy, and the enforcement of a rigorous uniformity of creed
and discipline. From the resistance to this uniformity came Rhode
Island and the doctrine of soul liberty.

On the 5th of February, 1631, the ship Lyon, with twenty passengers and
a large cargo of provisions, came to anchor in Nantaskett roads. On the
8th she reached Boston, and the 9th, which had been set apart as a day
of fasting and prayer for the little Colony, sorely stricken by famine,
was made a day of thanksgiving and praise for its sudden deliverance.
Among those who, on that day, first united their prayers with the
prayers of the elder colonists, was the young colonist, Roger Williams.

Little is known of the early history of Roger Williams, except that he
was born in Wales, about 1606; attracted, early in life, the attention
of Sir Edward Coke by his skill in taking down in short hand, sermons,
and speeches in the Star Chamber; was sent by the great lawyer to
Sutton Hospital, now known as the Charter House, with its fresh
memories of Coleridge and Charles Lamb; went thence in the regular time
to Oxford; took orders in the Church of England, and finally embraced
the doctrine of the Puritans. Besides Latin and Greek, which formed
the principal objects of an University course, he acquired a competent
knowledge of Hebrew and several modern languages, for the study of
which he seemed to have had a peculiar facility. His industry and
attainments soon won him a high place in the esteem of his religions
brethren, and although described by one who knew him as "passionate
and precipitate," he gained and preserved the respect of some of the
most eminent among his theological opponents. The key to his life may
be found in the simple fact that he possessed an active and progressive
mind in an age wherein thought instantly became profession, and
profession passed promptly into action.

When this "godly and zealous young minister" landed in Boston, he
found the territory which has long been known as Massachusetts in
the possession of two distinct colonies, the Colony of Plymouth,
founded in 1620, by the followers of John Robinson, of Leyden, and
known as the colony of separatists, or men who had separated from
the Church of England, but were willing to grant to others the same
freedom of opinion which they claimed for themselves; and the Colony
of Massachusetts Bay, founded ten years later by a band of intelligent
Puritans, many of them men of position and fortune, who, alarmed by the
variety of new opinions and doctrines which seemed to menace a total
subversion of what they regarded as religion, had resolved to establish
a new dwelling place in a new world, with the Old and New Testament
for statute book and constitution. Building upon this foundation the
clergy naturally became their guides and counselors in all things, and
the control of the law, which was but another name for the control
of the Bible, extended to all the acts of life, penetrating to the
domestic fireside, and holding every member of the community to a rigid
accountability for speech as well as action. Asking for no exemption
from the rigorous application of Bible precept for themselves,
they granted none to others, and looked upon the advocate of any
interpretation but theirs as a rebel to God and an enemy to their peace.

It was to this iron-bound colony that Roger Williams brought his
restless, vigorous and fearless spirit. Disagreements soon arose and
suspicions were awakened. He claimed a freedom of speech irreconcilable
with the fundamental principles of their government; and they a power
over opinion irreconcilable with freedom of thought. Neither of them
could look upon his own position from the other's point of view. Both
were equally sincere. And much as we may now condemn the treatment
which Williams received at the hands of the colonial government of
Massachusetts Bay, its charter and its religious tenets justified it in
treating him as an intruder.

The first public expression of the hostility he was to encounter
came from the magistrates of Boston within two months after his
arrival, and, on the very day on which the church of Salem had
installed him as assistant to their aged pastor, Mr. Skelton. The
magistrates were a powerful body, and before autumn he found his
situation so uncomfortable that he removed to Plymouth, where the
rights of individual opinion were held in respect, if not fully
acknowledged. Here, while assiduously engaged in the functions of his
holy office, he was brought into direct contact with several of the
most powerful chiefs of the neighboring tribes of Indians, and among
them of Massasoit and Miantonomi, who were to exercise so controlling
an influence over his fortunes. His fervent spirit caught eagerly at
the prospect of bringing them under Christian influences, and his
natural taste for the study of languages served to lighten the labor
of preparation. "God was pleased," he wrote many years afterwards, "to
give me a painful, patient spirit to lodge with them in their filthy
holes, even while I lived at Plymouth and Salem, to gain their tongue;
my soul's desire was to do the natives good."

This was apparently the calmest period of his stormy career. It was
at Plymouth that his first child, a daughter, was born. But although
he soon made many friends, and had the satisfaction of knowing that
his labors were successful, his thoughts still turned towards Salem,
and, receiving an invitation to resume his place as assistant of Mr.
Skelton, whose health was on the wane, he returned thither after an
absence of two years. Some of the members of his church had become so
attached to him that they followed him to the sister colony.

And now came suspicions which quickly ripened into controversies,
and before another two years were over led to what he regarded as
persecution, but what the rulers of the Bay Colony held to be the
fulfillment of the obligation which they had assumed in adopting the
whole Bible as their rule of life. In 1635 he was banished from the
colony by a solemn sentence of the General Court, for teaching:

  "1st. That we have not our land by Pattent from the King, but that
  the natives are the true owners of it, and that we ought to repent of
  such receiving it by Pattent.

  2d. That it is not lawful to call a wicked person to swear, to pray,
  as being actions of God's worship.

  3d. That it is not lawful to heare any of the Ministers of the Parish
  Assemblies in England.

  4th. That the civil magistrates power extends only to the Bodies and
  Goods and outward state of man."

For us who read these charges with the light of two more centuries of
progress upon them, it seems strange that neither the General Court
nor Williams himself should have perceived that the only one wherein
civilization was interested was that to which they have assigned the
least conspicuous place.

                              CHAPTER II.


When the sentence of banishment was first pronounced against the
future founder of Rhode Island, his health was so feeble that it was
resolved to suspend the execution of it till spring. This, however,
was soon found to be impracticable, for the affection and confidence
which he had inspired presently found open expression, and friends
began to gather around him in his own house to listen to his teaching.
Lack of energy was not a defect of the government of the Colony of
Massachusetts Bay, and learning that rumors of a new colony to be
founded on Narragansett Bay were already afloat, it resolved to send
the supposed leader of the unwelcome enterprise back to England. A
warrant, therefore, was given to Captain Underhill, a man of doubtful
character in the employment of the Colony, with orders to proceed
directly to Salem, put the offender on board his pinnace, and convey
him to a ship that lay in Boston harbor ready to sail for England with
the first fair wind. When the pinnace reached Salem, he found only
the wife and infant children of the banished man, and a people deeply
grieved for the loss of their pastor. Williams was gone, and whither no
one could say.

And whither, indeed, could he go? The thin and scattered settlements
of the northern colonies were bounded seaward by a tempestuous ocean,
and inland by a thick belt of primeval forest, whose depths civilized
man had never penetrated. If he escaped the wild beasts that prowled in
their recesses, could he hope to escape the wilder savage, who claimed
the forest for his hunting grounds? "I was sorely tossed," Williams
writes in after years, "for fourteen weeks in a bitter winter-season,
not knowing what bread or bed did mean." The brave man's earnest mind
bore up the frail and suffering body.

And now he began to reap the fruit of his kind treatment of the
natives, and the pains which he had taken to learn their language.
"These ravens fed me in the wilderness," he wrote, with a touching
application of Scripture narrative. They gave him the shelter of their
squalid wigwams, and shared with him their winter store. The great
chief Massasoit opened his door to him, and, when spring came, gave him
a tract of land on the Seekonk River, where he "pitched and began to
build and plant." Here he was soon joined by some friends from Salem,
who had resolved to cast in their lot with his. But the seed which they
planted had already begun to send up its early shoots, when a letter
from his "ancient friend, the Governor of Plymouth," came, to "lovingly
advise him" that he was "fallen into the edge of their bounds;" that
they were "loth to displease the Bay," and that if he would "remove
but to the other side of the water," he would have "the country
before [him] and might be as free as themselves," and they "should be
loving neighbors together." Williams accepted the friendly counsel,
and, taking five companions with him, set out in a canoe to follow
the downward course of the Seekonk and find a spot whereon he might
plant and build in safety. As the little boat came under the shade
of the western bank of the pleasant stream, a small party of Indians
was seen watching them from a large flat rock that rose a few feet
above the water's edge. "Wha-cheer, netop?--Wha-cheer?--how are you,
friend?" they cried; and Williams accepting the friendly salutation as
a favorable omen, turned the prow of his canoe to the shore. Tradition
calls the spot where he landed, Slate Rock, and the name of Wha-cheer
square has been given in advance to the land around it. What was said
or done at that first interview has not been recorded, but the parting
was as friendly as the meeting, and Williams resuming his course, soon
found himself at the junction of the Seekonk and Mooshausick. Two
points mark the intermingling of the two streams, and in those days the
waters must have spread their broad bosom like a lake, and gleamed and
danced within their fringe of primeval forest. Williams, following,
perhaps, the counsel of the Indians, turned northward and held his way
between the narrowing banks of the Mooshausick, till he espied, at the
foot of a hill which rose shaggy with trees and precipitate from its
eastern shore, the flash and sparkling of a spring. Here he landed,
and, recalling his trials and the mighty hand that had sustained him
through them all, called the place Providence.

                              CHAPTER III.


The territory which now forms the State of Rhode Island, with the
exception of Bristol County, in which lay Mount Hope, the seat of
Massasoit, chief of the Wamponoags, was held by the Narragansetts, a
tribe skilled in the Indian art of making wampum, the Indian money,
and the art common to most barbarous nations of making rude vessels
in clay and stone. They had once been very powerful, and could still
bring four or five thousand braves to the warpath. Their language was
substantially the same with that of the other New England tribes, and
was understood by the natives of New York, New Jersey and Delaware.
With this language Roger Williams had early made himself familiar.

It was labor well bestowed, and he was to reap the reward of it in his
day of tribulation. The chiefs of the Narragansetts when he came among
them were Canonicus, an "old prince, most shy of the English to his
latest breath," and his nephew, Miantonomi. Their usual residence was
on the beautiful Island of Conanicut; and when Williams first came he
found them at feud with his other friend, Ossameguin, or Massasoit,
Sachem of the Wamponoags. His first care was to reconcile these chiefs,
"traveling between them three to pacify, to satisfy all these and their
dependent spirits of (his) honest intention to live peaceably by them."
The well founded distrust of the English which Canonicus cherished to
the end of his life did not extend to Williams, to whom he made a grant
of land between the Mooshausick and the Wanasquatucket; confirming it
two years later by a deed bearing the marks of the two Narragansett
chiefs. This land Williams divided with twelve of his companions,
reserving for them and himself the right of extending the grant "to
such others as the major part of us shall admit to the same fellowship
of vote with us." It was a broad foundation, and he soon found himself
in the midst of a flourishing colony.

The proprietors, dividing their lands into two parts, "the grand
purchase of Providence," and the "Pawtuxet purchase," made an
assignment of lots to other colonists, and entered resolutely upon
the task of bringing the soil under cultivation. The possession of
property naturally leads to the making of laws, and the new colonists
had not been together long before they felt the want of a government.
The form which it first assumed amongst them was that of a democratic
municipality, wherein the "masters of families" incorporated
themselves into a town, and transacted their public business in town
meeting. The colonists of Plymouth had formed their social compact in
the cabin of the Mayflower. The colonists of Providence formed theirs
on the banks of the Mooshausick. "We, whose names are hereunder," it
reads, "desirous to inhabit in the town of Providence, do promise to
subject ourselves in active or passive obedience to all such orders
or agreements as shall be made for public good for the body, in an
orderly way, by the major assent of the present inhabitants, masters of
families, incorporated together into a town fellowship, and such others
as they shall admit unto them only in civil things."

Never before, since the establishment of Christianity, has the
separation of Church from State been definitely marked out by this
limitation of the authority of the magistrate to civil things; and
never, perhaps, in the whole course of history, was a fundamental
principle so vigorously observed. Massachusetts looked upon the
experiment with jealousy and distrust, and when ignorant or restless
men confounded the right of individual opinion in religious matters
with a right of independent action in civil matters, those who had
condemned Roger Williams to banishment, eagerly proclaimed that
no well ordered government could exist in connection with liberty
of conscience. Many grave discussions were held, and many curious
questions arose before the distinction between liberty and license
became thoroughly interwoven with daily life; but only one passage of
this singular chapter has been preserved, and, as if to leave no doubt
concerning the spirit which led to its preservation, the narrator
begins with these ominous words: "At Providence, also, the Devil was
not idle."

The wife of Joshua Verin was a great admirer of Williams's preaching,
and claimed the right of going to hear him oftener than suited the
wishes of her husband. Did she, in following the dictates of her
conscience, which bade her go to a meeting which harmonized with her
feelings, violate the injunction of Scripture which bids wives obey
their husbands? Or did he, in exercising his acknowledged control as a
husband, trench upon her right of conscience in religious concerns? It
was a delicate question; but after long deliberation and many prayers,
the claims of conscience prevailed, and "it was agreed that Joshua
Verin, upon the breach of a covenant for restraining of the libertie of
conscience, shall be withheld from the libertie of voting till he shall
declare the contrarie"--a sentence from which it appears that the
right of suffrage was regarded as a conceded privilege, not a natural

Questions of jurisdiction also arose. Massachusetts could not bring
herself to look upon her sister with a friendly eye, and Plymouth
was soon to be merged in Massachusetts. It was easy to foresee that
there would be bickerings and jealousies, if not open contention
between them. Still the little Colony grew apace. The first church
was founded in 1639. To meet the wants of an increased population the
government was changed, and five disposers or selectmen charged with
the principal functions of administration, subject, however, to the
superior authority of monthly town meetings; so early and so naturally
did municipal institutions take root in English colonies. A vital
point was yet untouched. Williams, indeed, held that the Indians, as
original occupants of the soil, were the only legal owners of it, and
carrying his principle into all his dealings with the natives, bought
of them the land on which he planted his Colony. The Plymouth and
Massachusetts colonists, also, bought their land of the natives, but
in their intercourse with the whites founded their claim upon royal
charter. They even went so far as to apply for a charter covering all
the territory of the new Colony.

Meanwhile two other colonies had been planted on the shores of
Narragansett Bay: the Colony of Aquidnick, on the Island of Rhode
Island, and the Colony of Warwick. The sense of a common danger united
them, and, in 1643, they appointed Roger Williams their agent to repair
to England and apply for a royal charter. It has been treasured up as a
bitter memory that he was compelled to seek a conveyance in New York,
for Massachusetts would not allow him to pass through her territories.
His negotiations were crowned with full success. In 1644 he was again
in the colonies, and the inhabitants of Providence, advised of his
success, met him at Seekonk and escorted him across the river with an
exultant procession of fourteen canoes.

To defray the expenses of his mission he taught Latin, Greek and
Hebrew--counting "two sons of Parliament men" among his pupils--and
read Dutch to Milton.

                              CHAPTER IV.


I have said that two other colonies had been founded in Rhode Island.
Like Providence, they both had their origin in religious controversy.
Not long after the return of Roger Williams there came to Boston a
woman of high and subtle spirit, deeply imbued with the controversial
temper of her age. Her name was Anna Hutchinson, and she taught that
salvation was the fruit of grace, not of works. It is easy to conceive
how such a doctrine might be perverted by logical interpretation,
and religious standing made independent of moral character. This was
presently done, and Massachusetts, true to her theoretic system,
banished Anna Hutchinson and her followers as she had banished Roger
Williams. In the autumn of 1637, nineteen of these Antinomians, as they
were called to distinguish them from the legalists or adherents of the
law, took refuge in Rhode Island, where they were kindly welcomed;
and, soon after, purchasing the Island of Aquidneck, through the
intervention of Williams and Sir Henry Vane, laid the foundation of a
new town at Pocasset, near the north end of the Island. Their leaders
were William Coddington and John Clarke, under whose wise guidance the
little Colony made rapid progress, and soon began another settlement
at Newport, in the southern part of the island. Here, breaking roads,
clearing up woods, exterminating wolves and foxes, opening a trade
in lumber, engaging boldly in building ships, and above all forming
a free and simple government, with careful regard to religion and
education, they soon found themselves in advance of their elder sister,
Providence. In both colonies the principle of religious liberty
formed the basis of civil organization. On Rhode Island, however, it
was confined to Christians--a step greatly in advance of the general
intelligence of the age. But in Providence Roger Williams went still
further, and, meeting the wants of all future ages, proclaimed it the
right of every human being.

The other Colony, as if to illustrate the varieties of human opinion,
was founded by Samuel Gorton, one of those bold but restless men who
leave doubtful names in history because few see their character from
the same point of view. In Gorton's religious sentiments there seems
to have been a large leaven of mysticism, and the writings that he
has left us are not pleasant reading. But the practical danger of his
teaching lay in his denial of all government not founded upon the
authority of the King or of Parliament. Massachusetts was a legitimate
government within her own bounds. But unchartered Rhode Island had
no legal existence. At Pocasset Gorton soon came into collision with
the civil authorities and was banished. In Providence he presently
raised such dissensions that Williams almost lost heart, and began to
think seriously of withdrawing to his little Island of Patience, in
Narragansett Bay. At last Gorton with eleven companions bought Shawomet
of its Indian owners and established himself there. This brought him
into open hostility with Massachusetts, which having already cast
longing eyes upon the commercial advantages of Narragansett Bay, was
secretly endeavoring to establish a claim to all the land on its shores.

Hostile words were soon followed by hostile acts. Gorton and his
companions were besieged in their house by an armed band, compelled
to surrender, carried by force to Massachusetts, tried for heresy,
and barely escaping the gibbet, condemned to imprisonment and irons.
A reaction soon followed. Public sentiment came to their relief. They
were banished indeed from Massachusetts, but they were set at liberty
and allowed to return to Rhode Island. At Aquidneck they were received
with the sympathy which generous natures ever feel for the victims of
persecution, and Gorton was raised to an honorable magistracy in the
very colony wherein he had been openly whipped as a disturber of the
public peace. It was not till the claims of Massachusetts had been
virtually set aside by the charter which Roger Williams obtained for
his Colony that Gorton returned to Shawomet, and set himself to rebuild
the Colony of Warwick.

Meanwhile great changes had taken place in the relations of the white
man to the red. I have told how kindly the natives received Roger
Williams, and how justly he dealt by them. I will now tell, though
briefly, with what a Christian spirit he used the influence over the
Indians, which his justice had won for him, to protect the white men
who had driven him from amongst them. On the western border of the
territory of the Massachusetts dwelt the fierce and powerful Pequots.
No Indian had ever hated the whites with a hatred more intense than
they, or watched the growth of the white settlements with a truer
perception of the danger with which they menaced the original owners
of the soil. They resolved upon war, and to make their triumph sure,
resolved also to win over the Narragansetts as active allies. Tidings
of the danger soon reached the Bay Colony, and Governor Vane appealed
to Roger Williams to interpose and prevent the fatal alliance. Not
a moment was to be lost. The Pequot embassadors were already in
conference with Canonicus and Miantonomi on Conanicut. Forgetting his
personal wrongs, and barely taking time to tell his wife whither he was
going, he set forth alone in his canoe, "cutting through a stormy wind
and great seas, every minute in hazard of life."

Greater hazard awaited him on shore. English blood had already been
shed by the Pequots, and knowing their fierce nature, he "nightly
looked for their bloody knives at his own throat also." For three days
and three nights he confronted them face to face, and so great was
the control which he had gained over the Narragansett chiefs that he
succeeded in "breaking in pieces the Pequot negotiation and design, and
made and finished by many travels and charges the English league with
the Narragansetts and Mohegans against the Pequots." The war came. The
Narragansetts were on the side of the English; fearful massacres were
committed; the Pequots were rooted out from their native soil forever;
Massachusetts was saved; but the Christian, forgetting of injuries
wherewith Williams had come to her aid in the critical moment of her
fortunes, was not deemed of sufficient virtue to wash out the stain
of heresy, and the sentence of banishment was left unrepealed on the
darker page of her colonial records.

The Pequots were crushed. The turn of the Narragansetts came next. It
was the fate of the red man to everywhere give way as a civilization
irreconcilable with his habits and his beliefs advanced, and it is for
the good of humanity that it is so. But it is sad to remember that
the Christian, with the Bible in his hand, should have sought his
examples in the stern denunciations of the Old Testament, rather than
in the injunctions to love and mercy of the New. Six years after the
formation of the league against the Pequots, a war broke out between
Sequasson, an ally of Miantonomi and the Mohegans. The Narragansett
Sachem, trusting to the good faith of his adversary, the powerful
Uncas, was betrayed in a conference, and his followers, taken by
surprise in open violation of the laws of even Indian warfare, were
put to flight. The unfortunate chief fell into the hands of his enemy,
who, fearing the English too much to put an ally of theirs to death,
referred the question of his fate to the Commissioners of the United
Colonies--Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven--who were
about to hold a conference in Boston. Rhode Island, which had been
excluded from the league, had no voice in this outrage, and Williams,
whose remonstrances might have been of some avail, was in England.
To give greater solemnity to their deliberations the Commissioners
called to their aid "five of the most judicious elders," and by their
united voices Miantonomi was condemned to die. The execution of the
sentence was entrusted to Uncas, and the only condition attached to the
shameful act was that the generous friend of the white man should not
be tortured. His people never recovered from the blow. In the very next
year they placed themselves by a solemn resolution under the protection
of the King, and appointed four commissioners, one of whom was Gorton,
to carry their submission to England.

                               CHAPTER V.


We have seen that in 1643 Roger Williams had been sent to England as
agent to solicit a charter for the three colonies of Narragansett
Bay. He found the King at open war with the Parliament, and the
administration of the colonies entrusted to the Earl of Warwick and a
joint committee of the two Houses. Of the details of the negotiation
little is known, but on the 14th of March of the following year,
a "free and absolute charter was granted as the Incorporation of
Providence Plantations in Narragansett Bay in New England." It was not
such as Charles would have given. But one fetter was placed upon the
free action of the people--"that the laws, constitutions, punishments
for the civil government of the said plantation be conformable to
the laws of England"--and that was made powerless by the qualifying
condition that the conformity should extend only "so far as the nature
and constitution of that place will admit." Civil government and civil
laws were the only government and laws which it recognized; and the
absence of any allusion to religious freedom in it shows how firmly
and wisely Williams avoided every form of expression which might seem
to recognize the power to grant or to deny that inalienable right.
The regulation of the "general government" in its "relation to the
rest of the plantations in America," was reserved "to the Earl and

Yet more than three years were allowed to pass before it went into
full force as a bond of union for the four towns. Then, in May, 1647,
the corporators met at Portsmouth in General Court of Election, and,
accepting the charter, proceeded to organize a government in harmony
with its provisions. Warwick, although not named in the charter, was
admitted to the same privileges with her larger and more flourishing

This new government was in reality a government of the people, to whose
final decision in their General Assembly all questions were submitted.
"And now," says the preamble to the code, "sith our charter gives us
powere to governe ourselves and such other as come among us, and by
such a forme of Civill Government as by the voluntairie consent, &c.,
shall be found most suitable to our estate and condition:

"It is agreed by this present Assembly thus incorporate and by this
present act declared, that the form of Government established in
_Providence Plantations_, is Democratical; that is to say, a Government
held by y^e free and voluntairie consent of all or the greater part of
the free Inhabitants."

In accordance with this fundamental principle all laws were first
discussed in Town Meeting, then submitted to the General Court, a
committee of six men from each town freely chosen, and finally referred
to the General Assembly. The General Court possessed, also, the power
of originating laws, by recommending a draft of law to the towns,
upon whose approval the draft obtained the force of law till the next
meeting of the General Assembly.

The first act of this first Colonial Assembly was to organize by
electing John Coggeshall Moderator, and secure an acting quorum by
fixing it at forty. It was next "agreed that all should set their hands
to an engagement to the Charter." Then, after some provision for the
union of the towns, the formation of the General Court and the adoption
of the laws "as they are contracted in the bulk," Mr. John Coggeshall
was chosen "President of this Province or Colonie; Wm. Dyer, General
Recorder; Mr. Jeremy Clarke, Treasurer, and Mr. Roger Williams, Mr.
John Sanford, Mr. Wm. Coddington and Mr. Randall Holden, Assistants
for Providence, Portsmouth, Newport and Warwick" respectively. Then,
entering boldly upon its independent existence, the little Colony--a
State in all but the name--proceeded to examine the body of laws which
had been prepared for its acceptance. One of the most significant of
them, as indicating their commercial aspirations, was their adoption of
the laws of Oleron for a maritime code; and another, as illustrating
their consciousness of their perilous position in the midst of savages,
still able to strike sudden blows, though no longer strong enough to
wage long wars, the revival and extension of "the Statute touching
Archerie," and the enactment of a stringent militia law. The laws
against parricide, murder, arson, robbery and stealing, show that
there were men in the community who were believed to be capable of
these crimes. The law against suicide, and still more the law against
witchcraft, are too much in harmony with the general spirit of the
age to warrant a severe condemnation. The punishment provided against
drunkenness reads as though it were not an infrequent offence. Marriage
was regarded as a civil contract. The law of debt was wise and humane,
forbidding the sending of the debtor to prison, "there," it says with
simplicity and force, "to lie languishing to no man's advantage,
unless he refuse to stand to their order." The character of the whole
code was just and benevolent, breathing a gentle spirit of practical
Christianity and a calm consciousness of high destinies. "These," it
says, "are the laws that concern all men, and these are the Penalties
for the transgression thereof; which by common consent are Ratified and
Established throughout this whole Colonie; and otherwise than thus what
is herein forbidden, all men may walk as their consciences persuade
them, every one in the name of his God."

By the same Assembly it was ordered, "that the seale of the Providence
shall be an anchor." A free gift, also, of one hundred pounds was made
to Roger Williams, "in regarde to his so great travaile, charges, and
good endeavors in the obtaining of the Charter for this Province." This
sum was "to be levied out of the three towns;" and how far the island
was in advance of the main-land may be seen by the distribution of the
levy which assigns fifty pounds to Newport and thirty to Portsmouth,
while Providence was held at twenty. Of Warwick, still poor and weak,
nothing was asked.

The spirit of this first legislation may be comprised in four articles:
the first of which provides for the protection of the citizen against
the government by guaranteeing liberty of property and person, and
restricting criminal suits to the violation of the letter of the law.
The second forbids the assumption of office by any who are not legally
chosen, and the extension of official action beyond its prescribed
bounds. The third by making the charter and acts of the Assembly the
sources of law, secures the rights of minorities. And the fourth,
displaying a comprehension of the true principles of public service
which succeeding generations would do well to study, required that
every citizen should serve when chosen to office or pay a fine,
and that his service should receive an adequate compensation. The
engagement of state and officer was reciprocal--the officer binding
himself to serve the state faithfully, and the state to stand by her
officers in the legitimate exercise of their functions.

                              CHAPTER VI.


And now, just as the new Province was entering upon that chartered
existence which was to lead to such brilliant results, the wise and
peaceable Canonicus died, closing in humiliation and sorrow a life
which had begun in strength and hope. He had seen the first foot-prints
of the stranger; had aided him in his weakness; had resisted him in
his strength; had lived to see his destined successor fall victim to
an unholy policy, and his people, impoverished and enfeebled, vainly
strive to avenge the murder on their adversaries; and thus with a heavy
heart he passed away from the scene of his early glory and his long
humiliation. We shall see bye and bye the miserable end of the great

The new Colony entered upon its career with two great problems before
it. The first was almost solved. An experience of eleven years had
demonstrated the possibility of soul liberty, which had taken a hold
upon the hearts of the colonists too strong to be shaken. But did
it leave the needed strength in the civil organization to bear "a
government held by the free and voluntary consent of all, or the
greater part, of the free inhabitants?" Thus the reconciliation of
liberty and law formed from the beginning the fundamental problem of
Rhode Island history.

At first there were great and frequent dissensions. There were
dissensions between Newport and Portsmouth. There were still greater
dissensions in Providence. Enemies exulted, foretelling an early
dissolution of the feeble bands which held the dangerous Colony
together. Friends trembled lest their last hope of the reconciliation
of liberty and law should fail them. But still the great work of
solution went on, each new dissension revealing some new error, or
aiding in the demonstration of some new truth. It would take us far
beyond our limits were we to attempt to follow up the history of these
dissensions in detail, even if the materials for a full narrative of
them had been preserved. There were other difficulties, also, which
demand more than a passing allusion.

Massachusetts had not yet renounced her designs upon the territories of
the heretical Colony. A party in Pawtuxet which had put itself under
the protection of the Bay Colony had opened the way for action, and the
dispute with Shawomet had enlarged it. Gorton was in England in 1647,
exerting himself to answer the assertions of the Massachusetts agent,
Winslow. Three years later the question became so complicated and the
danger so imminent that Roger Williams was asked to go again to England
on behalf of the Colony. Meanwhile there were menacing indications
of an Indian war, and a serious effort was made on the part of the
Island towns to obtain admission to the New England confederation. The
application was refused unless on terms equivalent to the surrender of
all right to independent existence. The time for justice and a clear
comprehension of the common interest was not yet come. Especially
strong was Massachusetts' dread of the Baptists, who were becoming a
powerful body in Rhode Island, and three of the prominent members of
that communion, among whom was John Clarke, one of the most illustrious
of the colonists, were seized at Lynn--whither they had been summoned
to give comfort and counsel to an aged brother--cast into prison,
fined, and one of their number, Obadiah Holmes, cruelly scourged with a
three-corded whip.

Another danger menaced the Colony. William Coddington, who had been
chosen President, but had never taken the legal engagement, had gone
to England, and, as was soon ascertained, with the design of applying
for a commission as Governor of the Island. For two years he was unable
to obtain a hearing. The new government of England was too busy with
its own concerns to lend an ear to the agent of a distant and humble
Colony. At last the favorable moment came, and, on the 3d of April,
1651, he received a commission from the Council of State, appointing
him Governor for life of Rhode Island and Connecticut. By what
representations or misrepresentations he obtained the object of his
ambition, history does not tell us. A council of six, nominated by the
people and approved by him, were to assist him in the government. The
charter government was apparently dissolved.

But the men of Providence and Warwick did not lose heart. Roger
Williams, who had already given proof of his diplomatic skill at home
by his successful negotiations with the native chiefs, and in England
by obtaining a charter, was still with them, and to him all turned
their eyes in this hour of supreme danger. It was resolved that he
should repair to England without delay, and ask for a confirmation of
the charter in the name of Providence and Warwick. To provide money for
the support of his family during his absence he sold his trading-house
in Narragansett, and, obtaining a hard-wrung leave to embark at
Boston, set forth in October, 1651, upon his memorable mission. In
the same ship went John Clarke, as agent for the Island towns, to
ask for the revocation of Coddington's commission. On the success of
their application hung the fate of the Colony. Meanwhile the Island
towns submitted silently to Coddington's usurpation, and the main-land
towns continued to govern themselves by their old laws, and meet and
deliberate as they had done before in their General Assembly.

It was in the midst of these dangers and dissensions that on the 19th
of May, in the session of 1652, it was "enacted and ordered ... that
no black mankind or white being forced by covenant, bond or other wise
shall be held to service longer than ten years," and that "that man
that will not let them go free, or shall sell them any else where to
that end that they may be enslaved to others for a longer time, hee or
they shall forfeit to the Colonie forty pounds." This was the first
legislation concerning slavery on this continent. If forty pounds
should seem a small penalty, let us remember that the price of a slave
was but twenty. If it should be objected that the act was imperfectly
enforced, let us remember how honorable a thing it is to have been the
first to solemnly recognize a great principle. Soul liberty had borne
her first fruits.

In the same month of May the embarrassments of the Colony were
increased by the breaking out of a war between England and Holland,
which interrupted the profitable commerce between Rhode Island and the
Dutch of Manhattan. But welcome tidings came in September, and still
more welcome in October. Williams and Clarke, who went hand in hand in
their mission, had obtained, first, permission for the Colony to act
under the charter until the final decision of the controversy, and a
few weeks later the revocation of Coddington's commission. The charter
was fully restored. Williams had again proved himself a consummate
diplomatist, and Clarke had proved himself worthy to be his colleague.
We shall soon see him using his newly acquired skill under more
difficult circumstances.

                              CHAPTER VII.


And now it seemed as though the little Colony might peaceably return to
its original organization and devote itself to the development of its
natural resources. But the spirit of dissension had struck deep. The
absolute independence which was claimed for religious opinion, led some
to claim an equal independence for civil action. If conscience was to
be the supreme test in the relations between man and God, why should
not conscience decide between man and man? Roger Williams addressed a
letter full of calm wisdom to the Town of Providence, explaining, under
the figure of a ship, the distinction between civil obedience and soul
liberty. A few years later an able advocate of the opposite opinion was
found in William Harris; and for a long while an unhealthy agitation
pervaded the community, justifying, in appearance, the unfriendly
prophecies of the early enemies of Williams and his doctrines.

There was still another ground of contention. Who should take the
lead in restoring the charter government? The Island towns claimed
it on the ground of superior wealth and population, the main-land
towns because they had always held fast to their charter. There were
double elections and two Assemblies, and the dispute grew so warm as
to threaten a permanent division. At the same time the Island towns
entered zealously into the Dutch war, issuing letters of marque
and making captures which led to new controversies with the United
Colonies. Williams became alarmed, and leaving Mr. Clarke in charge of
their common business hurried back from England to meet the danger.
Sir Henry Vane, who had already been a firm friend of Rhode Island,
wrote in a public letter, "Are there no wise men among you? no public,
self-denying spirits who can find some way of union before you become a
prey to your enemies?"

At last, in August, 1654, a full Court of Commissioners met at Warwick,
and on the 31st set their hands to articles of reunion. To meet
the difficulties that arose from the different acts of independent
assemblies, it was agreed that all such acts should be held good for
the towns and persons who originally took part in them. Then the
charter was once more made the fundamental law of the land, and finally
the General Assembly recognized by fixing the number of delegates from
each town at six for all purposes except the election of officers.
Two days were then devoted to general legislation, and among other
acts the delicate question of a Sunday law was reconciled with the
distinguishing principle of the Colony, by referring the matter to the
several towns under the head of a day "for servants and children to
recreate themselves."

As the danger of civil commotions passed away, came the danger of an
Indian war. The Narragansetts had old quarrels with the Indians of
Long Island, and in 1654 a new quarrel broke out between them. For
the Colony itself there was nothing to fear from the Narragansetts
with whom it had always maintained friendly relations. But should
the Long Island Indians prevail, an inroad upon the main would
bring them dangerously near to the new towns. The United Colonies,
proceeding as usual with a high hand, summoned Ninigret, the chief
sachem of the Narragansetts, to Hartford. He refused to go, saying
that the enemy had slain a sachem's son and sixty of his people--all
he asked of the English was that they would let him alone. "If your
Governor's son were slain," he said, "and several other men, would
you ask counsel of another nation how and when to right yourselves?"
The spirit of the Narragansetts was not yet broken. Williams, who was
then President, wrote to the government of Massachusetts defending
the Indians, asserting that the war was a war of self-defence, and
that the Narragansetts had always been true to the English. But the
Commissioners were resolved upon war, and without listening to his
remonstrances sent Captain Willard with a body of troops to seize the
refractory chief. The wily Indian took post in a swamp where the troops
were unable to reach him. The Commissioners were sorely annoyed, but
Massachusetts, listening, perhaps, to the energetic representations of
Williams, refused to sanction the war, and without her coöperation it
could not be carried on.

There were still dissensions and jars, but the Colony throve and grew
in industry and strength. Newport above all increased in wealth and
population. In estimating the population, however, we must bear in mind
that not every inhabitant was a freeman, nor every resident a legal
inhabitant. A probationary residence was required before the second
step was reached and the resident became an inhabitant with certain
rights to the common lands, the right of sitting on the jury and of
being chosen to some of the lower offices. This, also, was a period of
probation, and it was only after it had been passed to the satisfaction
of the freemen that the name of the new candidate could be proposed
in town meeting for full citizenship. Even then he had to wait for
a second meeting before he could be admitted to all the rights and
distinctions of that honorable grade.

As a picture of the times it deserves notice that there was still a
struggle with crime which called for stocks and a jail; that the sale
of liquors was regulated by a license, and the number of taverns that
could be licensed in a single town limited to three; that the bars were
closed at nine in the evening; that a fine of ten pounds or whipping,
"accordinge as y^e court shall see meete," was the penalty of giving
a blow in court; that malicious language was treated as slander and
made ground for legal prosecution. The Assembly seldom sat beyond three
or four days, and six in the morning was the usual hour of entering
upon the business of the day. Absence from roll call was punished by a
fine of a shilling. As an illustration of the degree in which the idea
of the duties of citizenship prevailed over the idea of the dignity
of office, it deserves to be recorded that when the first justices'
court was established in Providence for the hearing of cases under
forty shillings, Roger Williams though President of the Colony was
appointed one of the justices, and of the other two Thomas Olney was
assistant for Providence, and Thomas Harris a member of the Assembly.
The principle of the reciprocal obligation of citizen and state seems,
as we have already observed, to have found early acceptance. High
treason was recognized as a great crime and provision made for sending
the accused to England for trial--a dangerous measure even in that
early day, and which in the following century became a just ground of
alarm. But now, even Coddington not only came off unharmed from his
daring usurpation, but appears again in 1656 as member of the Court
of Trials. A written submission and a fine for refusing to give up the
public records were the only penalties that he paid for his offence.
Early provision was made for the protection of marriage, and to give it
that publicity which is essential to security the bans were announced
in town meeting, or at the head of a company on training days, or by
a written declaration signed by a magistrate and set up in some place
of common resort. If objections were made the parties were heard by
a tribunal of two magistrates, or for final decision by the Court of
Trials. Freedom in the young society was always connected with morality.

There were still questions to arrange with Massachusetts, which had
not yet given up the hope of enlarging her territory at the expense of
her diminutive neighbors. The Pawtuxet controversy which began almost
with the beginning of the Colony, was a fruitful source of anxiety
till 1658, when it was finally settled by the acknowledgment of the
claims of Rhode Island, Roger Williams again appearing in his favorite
character of mediator. Hog Island, at the mouth of Bristol harbor,
gave rise to other disputes which extended through several years. In
the original purchase of Aquidneck the grass only had been bought.
To secure the fee of the land itself a second purchase was required.
Other purchases also were made, which gave rise to long and vexatious
disputes. Small as it was, it was almost inch by inch that Rhode
Island won its narrow territory.

From time to time, also, there were alarms of Indians. In 1656 their
movements excited so much apprehension in Providence, that a fort was
built on Stamper's Hill for the protection of the town. In this same
year the fundamental principles of the governments of Rhode Island and
of Massachusetts were brought into striking contrast by the arrival
of the Quakers. In Massachusetts they were imprisoned, scourged,
mutilated, put to death, and with the increase of persecution increased
in numbers. In Rhode Island they were allowed to follow their own
convictions and became useful and industrious citizens. And when the
United Colonies urged the General Assembly, not without threats, to
join in the persecution, it appealed to Cromwell, asking "that it might
not be compelled to exercise any civil power over men's consciences
so long as human orders, in point of civility, are not corrupted or

In these days great changes were taking place in England. Cromwell
was dead. Richard Cromwell soon resigned the Protectorate. A general
reaction for royalty followed, and Charles II. was received as King
with general satisfaction. How would the young and dissolute monarch
look upon the claims of Rhode Island? It was well for her that at this
perilous moment she was represented at the new court by so earnest,
clear-headed, and dexterous a diplomatist as John Clarke. By his
exertions a new charter was obtained, and, on the 24th of November,
1663, accepted "at a very great meeting and assembly of the Colony of
Providence Plantations, at Newport, in Rhode Island, in New England."
With the adoption of this charter begins a new period in the history of
Rhode Island.

                             CHAPTER VIII.


The charter of Charles II. was a practical recognition of the right
of self-government. The government which it established, like that
instituted by the colonists in their first organization, was a pure
democracy, emanating from the people and framed for their good. In
form it consisted of a Governor, a Deputy-Governor, ten assistants,
and a House of Deputies, six of whom represented Newport, four
Providence, four Portsmouth, four Warwick, and two each other towns.
The first appointments of Governor, Deputy-Governor, and assistants,
as preparatory to a permanent organization, were made by the King. The
organization once effected, they were chosen annually at Newport, on
the first Wednesday in May. The deputies were elected by the people
in their respective towns. Thus election day became the great civil
festival of the year, bringing the inhabitants of the towns together to
interchange thoughts and feelings, and make merry with their wives and
children in the chief town of the Colony.

Although the new charter was negotiated by John Clarke, it is
impossible not to recognize in it the spirit of Roger Williams.
The original right of the natives to the soil was acknowledged,
practically, in other colonies; but it was acknowledged as subordinate
to the right of the King. The royal grant preceded the actual purchase.
But in Rhode Island the royal grant followed the Indian title-deed, and
was never accepted as sufficient of itself to justify the occupation
of Indian territory. This doctrine, so widely at variance with the
received doctrine of the age, stood first in the list of heresies for
which Massachusetts had driven Roger Williams into exile.

No less prominent in the second charter was that great principle which
had formed the leading characteristic of the first. "Noe person," it
says, "within the sayd colonye, at any tyme hereafter, shall be any
wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any
difference of opinion in matters of religion which doe not actually
disturb the civill peace of our sayd colonye; but that all and everye
person may, from tyme to tyme and at all tymes hereafter, freelye and
fullye have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences, in
matters of religious concernments, through the tract of lande hereafter
mentioned, they behaving themselves peaceablie and quietlie, and not
using this libertye to licentiousness, and profaneness, nor to the
civill injurye or outward disturbance of others."

There was much work for the new Assembly to do, and it addressed
itself promptly to the task. The statute book contained laws which,
arising from circumstances no longer existing, were "inconsistent
with the present government." To weed these out and replace them by
others better suited to the new order of things, was an early object of
attention. Hitherto the assistants had not been vested with legislative
authority. They now held it by the charter, and henceforth acted in
conjunction with the deputies, a change which at a later day led to the
division into two houses. The increase of population brought with it an
increase of litigation. The original courts were not sufficient to meet
the demand for legal protection. They were reorganized.

There were two general courts of trials, composed of the Governor, with
or without the aid of the Deputy-Governor, and of a body of assistants
whose number was never less than six. Their place of meeting was
Newport, the seat of government and largest town, and their regular
sessions were held in May and October. Providence and Warwick had each
a court of trials--Providence in September and Warwick in March. But
in these, as if in indication of their subordinate authority, neither
the Governor nor the Deputy-Governor had a seat, and the number of
assistants absolutely required to give validity to its acts was reduced
from six to three. To complete their organization twelve jurors were
added, six from each town. Their decision, however, was not final,
and the cases which they had tried could be carried by appeal to the
General Court. To quicken the tardy steps of justice any litigant
who was willing to bear the expense, might, with the sanction of the
Governor or Deputy-Governor, have a special court convened for the
immediate decision of his cause.

The grand and petty jurors were chosen from the four towns, five of
each from Newport, three from Portsmouth, and two from Providence and
Warwick respectively. The same superiority was accorded to Newport in
the apportionment of state officers, five of whom were required to live
there. In this, however, Providence outranks Portsmouth, having three
allotted to her for her portion, while Portsmouth had but two. The
duties of coroner were performed by the assistant "nearest the place
occasion shall present."

Another grave question met them on the threshold of their work of
organization. The charter left a doubt concerning the manner of
choosing the state magistrates. Should they be elected by the freemen
in town meeting, or by the General Assembly? The democratic instinct
prevailed, and the choice was left to the freemen.

There was a still graver question to be decided, requiring firmness,
self-control and skilled diplomacy. Rhode Island had never been looked
upon by Massachusetts with friendly eyes. That a banished man should
have become the founder of a new colony close upon her borders was
irritating to her pride. That his success as a colonizer should have
cut her off from the beautiful Narragansett Bay was humiliating to her
ambition of territorial aggrandizement. That a freedom of conscience
subversive of her theological dogmas should have been the fundamental
principle of the new government was irritating to her bigotry. Thus,
although she did not hesitate to avail herself of the good offices
of Roger Williams to avert a dangerous war, she did not scruple to
forbid the sale to citizens of Rhode Island of the powder and arms
which they needed for their own protection, and exclude them from the
league which the other colonies of New England had formed for their
common defence. When, in 1642, four of the principal inhabitants of
Pawtuxet factiously put themselves under her protection, she greedily
seized the opportunity of securing for herself a foothold in the
coveted territory. It was not till 1658 that this dangerous dispute
was settled and the perpetual menace of mutilation removed from the
northern district of the Colony soon to reappear in the southern. Amid
the fresh recollections of this contest, the General Assembly passed a
law forbidding, under the penalty of confiscation, the introduction of
a foreign authority within the limits of the Colony. Both Massachusetts
and Connecticut laid claim to Narragansett, a valuable tract in the
southern part of the Colony and controlling the communication with the
bay of that name. The claim of Rhode Island was founded upon purchase,
and although her physical inferiority left her no hope of success
except through an appeal to the King, she was none the less vigilant
in defending her rights. The necessity of this watchfulness was soon
made manifest, for scarce a year had passed from the passage of the
prohibitory law, when, in direct violation of its provisions, a company
of aliens purchased Quidneset and Namcook, two large and valuable
tracts on Narragansett Bay. It was like throwing down the gauntlet to
the little Colony, for it was only by supporting the pretensions of
Massachusetts or Connecticut that the purchasers could hope to make
their title good. An artful attempt was made to obtain the sanction of
Roger Williams's name by offering him, under the title of interpreter,
a liberal grant of land. But the loyal old man refused to connect
himself in any way with the illegal act, and warned the company of the
dangerous ground whereon they were treading.

The warning was not heeded, and Humphrey Atherton, John Winthrop and
their associates, completing their bargain with the Indians, claimed
the tracts as theirs by lawful purchase. New complications followed.
The very next year the Commissioners of the United Colonies, following
up their aggressive policy towards the Narragansetts, imposed upon the
feeble remnant of the once powerful tribe a heavy fine for alleged
injuries to the Mohegans, and compelled them to mortgage their whole
territory for the payment of it. Atherton paid the fine, and held that
his claim was strengthened by this act of unjustifiable violence.

For a time hopes were entertained of inducing the company to accept
the jurisdiction of Rhode Island, but they were futile. The attempt of
either party to exercise legal authority in the disputed territory was
a signal for the active intervention of the other. It was soon evident
that the decision must be referred to England. Fortunately for Rhode
Island, John Clarke was still there.

Agents from Connecticut, also, were there petitioning for a new
charter, and their petition was enforced by the wise and virtuous John
Winthrop. Court favor came to his aid, and he used it judiciously. The
venerable Lord Say and Seal lent him the influence of his name, and the
skillful negotiator dexterously reviving the memory of the intercourse
between his father and Charles the First, succeeded in touching for
a moment the callous heart of Charles II. In the season of that
intercourse Charles had given Winthrop a curious and valuable ring,
and now when the son of the subject came before the son of the King
as a suppliant for a charter for his distant home, he bore that ring
in his hand as a record of kind feelings on one side and reverential
observance on the other. The plea was successful, and, on the 30th of
May, 1662, a charter was granted. In this charter the eastern boundary
of Connecticut was extended to Narragansett River, and Narragansett
River it was claimed was Narragansett Bay.

Great was the indignation of Rhode Island when the tidings of this
arbitrary mutilation of her territory reached her. It was like
introducing a foreign jurisdiction into the heart of the Colony, and
stripping it by a stroke of the pen of some of the chief advantages
which it had promised itself from its long and painful labor of
colonization. There was but one hope left, and that lay in the wisdom
and firmness of John Clarke. The trust was well placed. Not for a
moment did the brave man lose heart or suffer himself to grow weary
in his difficult task. Of the details of his negotiations no accurate
record has been preserved, but we know that, possessing no means of
corruption, even if his noble nature could have stooped to it, he
placed his confidence in the justice of his cause. In negotiating for a
charter he had presented two elaborate petitions to the King, giving a
rapid sketch of the origin and principles of the Colony, and asking for
"a more absolute, ample, and free charter of civill incorporation," as
for men who "had it much on their hearts (if they may be permitted) to
hold a lively experiment, that a flourishing free state may stand, yea,
and best be maintained, and that among English spirits, with a full
liberty in religious concernments."

The question of a charter was for the King to decide, and we have
already seen how he decided it. But the question of boundaries was
within the competence of the agents of the two colonies. After much
discussion it was decided to refer it to arbitration. Four arbitrators
were chosen, and on the 7th of April, 1663, they rendered their award
in four articles, by one of which the Pawcatuck River was made the
eastern boundary of Connecticut. The Atherton company was left free to
decide under which of the two jurisdictions it would live.

As long as Winthrop remained, although Clarke had much to apprehend
from his open opposition, he had nothing to fear from secret intrigues
or willful misinterpretation. But not all the advocates of the Atherton
purchase were like John Winthrop. False claims will always find base
agents, and no sooner was Winthrop gone than one of these willing
instruments of wrong pressed eagerly forward to his loathsome office.
His name was John Scott, and the record of his meanness has been
preserved in his own hand. "Mr. Winthrop," begins his confidential
correspondence with Captain Hutchinson, the corresponding agent of the
company, "was very averse to my prosecuting your affairs, he having had
much trouble with Mr. Clarke whiles he remained in England; but as soon
as I received intelligence of his departure from the Downes, I took
into the society a Potent Gentleman and prepared a Petition against
Clarke, &c., as enemyes to the peace and well being of his Majestye's
good subjects, and doubt not effecting the premises in convenient
tyme, and in order to accomplish y^r businesse, I have bought of Mr.
Edwards a parcel of curiosityes to y^e value of sixty pounds; to
gratifye persons that are powerfull, that there may be a Letter filled
with Awthorising Expressions to the Collonyes of the Massachusetts and
Connecticut, that the proprietors of the Narraganset countrye, shall
not only live peaceably, but have satisfaction for Injuryes already
received by some of the saide Proprietors and the power y^t shall be
soe invested (viz) the Massachusetts and Connecticut by virtue of the
saide letter will joyntlye and severallye, have full power to do us
justice to all intents, as to our Narraganset concernes."

For a moment it seemed as though this vile intrigue were about to
succeed. A letter from the King to the United Colonies was obtained,
recommending the interests of the Atherton company to their protection.
John Scott's "curiosityes" had done their work. The "Potent Gentleman"
had not failed him. The little Colony lay unarmed at the feet of its
powerful enemies. But the triumph was short. John Clarke was carefully
bringing his negotiations for a new charter to a close. Surrounded by
bitter and unscrupulous adversaries he still kept his own counsel,
kept the object of his mission constantly in view, and, after much
weary waiting and watching, came out triumphant. The charter of
Charles the Second, as I have already stated, which so long served the
Colony as a constitution and exercised such a controlling influence
upon her development, passed the seals on the 8th of July, 1663. By
this charter the western boundary line was fixed at Pawcatuck River,
"any Grant or Claim in a late Grant to the Governor and Company of
_Connecticut_ Colony in _America_ to the contrary thereof in any wise
notwithstanding." Thus the Pawcatuck River was henceforth to be held
as the same with the Narragansett River, and the question of western
boundary decided in accordance with the agreement, which, "after much
debate," Clarke and Winthrop had both signed in the names of their
respective colonies. It is evident that there was much ignorance, and
no very firm principle of action with regard to the colonies in the
cabinet of the second Charles.

While these events were passing an important change took place in
the commercial medium of the country. When the colonists first began
to trade with the natives, they found them already advanced in their
buyings and sellings from the primitive barter of product for product
to the use of a fixed medium of exchange. This medium, indeed, was of
a purely conventional character. There were neither mines of gold, nor
mines of silver, nor mines of copper to perform the office of money.
But the waters of their rivers and bays yielded an abundant supply
of shells, and these they wrought with much ingenuity into beads;
the periwinkle furnishing the material for the lower values, six of
its white shells being held at an English penny, while the dark eye
of the quahog or round clam, smoothed by grinding, and polished and
drilled, was rated at twice the value of the white shell. Both were
known as wampum or peage. As money belts of wampum were counted by the
fathom, three hundred and sixty of the white passing for five shillings
sterling, and a fathom of the black being worth twice as much as a
fathom of the white. Like the metallic medium of other countries they
served also for personal decoration, supplying the Indian belles and
beaux with their necklaces and bracelets, and princes with the most
valued ornaments of their regalia. When used for this purpose they
were wrought into girdles, or worn as a scarf about the shoulders,
great pains being taken and not a little skill displayed in arranging
the colors in various figures. The mints in which this primitive money
was coined were on the sea-shore, where shells were found in great
abundance, and so well was this simple article adapted to the wants and
the tastes of the aborigines that it passed current six hundred miles
from the coast, and was used by the colonists in all their bargains
with the natives. But shells like metals and paper are subject to the
same inexorable laws of trade. When beaver skins became plenty in the
colonial market and wampum was made in larger quantities, it fell from
ten shillings a fathom to five, and the Indian hunter thought it hard
that an equal number of furs should bring him but half as much wampum
as before. Like all money, also, wampum was liable to be counterfeited,
and even in that rude commerce there were men who preferred the
ill-gotten gain of the counterfeiter to the fruit of honest industry.
Fortunately for the native he was quick in detecting the fraud, and
never failed to exact full compensation. But wampum, like the race for
whom it was made, was unable to hold its ground against the advancing
civilization. We have seen it reduced to half its original value by
overissues and the increasing supply of furs in the colonial market.
Gradually it began to disappear. Rhode Island continued to use it long
after it had ceased to be current in colonies where the intercourse
with Europe was more direct. Massachusetts had begun to coin silver in
1652, but Rhode Island continued to accept wampum as a legal tender
for ten years longer, when it reached its lowest point, and, like
the Continental money of a century later, was abolished by statute.
Thenceforth all taxes and costs of court were exacted in "current pay"
in sterling that is, or in New England coin of thirty shillings New
England to twenty-two shillings sixpence sterling.

Nothing has been said thus far of the measures taken by the young
Colony for the establishment of schools. Newport, though only in the
second year of her settlement, took the lead in 1640, by "calling Mr.
Robert Lenthall to keep a school for the learning of youth, and for his
encouragement there was granted to him and his heirs one hundred acres
of land, and four more for a house lot." In the same meeting it was
voted: "That one hundred acres should be laid forth and appropriated
for a school, for the encouragement of the poorer sort, to train up
their youth in learning, and Mr. Robert Lenthall, while he continues
to keep school, is to have the benefit thereof." The wise example was
followed by Providence in 1663, and at May town meeting a hundred acres
of upland and six acres of meadow were reserved for the support of a

But in nothing perhaps does the character of the Colony appear to more
advantage than in the law of oaths. "Forasmuch," reads the statute,
"as the consciences of sundry men, truly conscionable, may scruple the
giving or the taking of an oath, and it would be no wise suitable to
the nature and constitution of our place, who profess ourselves to be
men of different consciences, and not one willing to force another,
to debar such as cannot do so, either from bearing office among us,
or from giving in testimony in a case depending; be it enacted by
the authority of this present Assembly, that a solemn profession or
testimony in a court of record, or before a judge of record, shall be
accounted throughout the whole colony, of as full force as an oath." So
strong was the hold which the principle of soul liberty had taken of
the public mind.



The charter came at a fortunate moment, for petition and remonstrance
had reached their utmost, and it is difficult to see how the little
Colony could have preserved the integrity of its territory much longer
against two such powerful neighbors but for the intervention of an
authority that was recognized by all. The services of John Clarke
must be estimated by the imminence of the danger, and his skill by
the difficulty of the negotiation. Meanwhile the territories of Rhode
Island were enlarged in another direction.

Block Island has already been mentioned in connection with the Pequot
war. In 1658 it was granted by Massachusetts, in whose hands the war
had left it, to Governor John Endicott and three others, as a reward
for their public services. Endicott and his associates sold it to
Simon Ray and eight associates, who, in 1661, entered upon their work
of colonization by liquidating the Indian title with a reservation in
favor of the natives, and setting apart one-sixteenth of the lands
for the support of a minister forever. The new settlement had not
yet reached its third year when it passed under the jurisdiction of
Rhode Island, and, in the May session of the General Assembly for
1663, was summoned to appear at the bar of the house and be regularly
received into the Colony. At the appointed time three messengers
presented themselves, bringing the submission of the inhabitants to
"his Majesty's will," and a petition of householders for the freedom
of the island. Three select men were chosen to govern it with power
to "call town meetings," hear causes under forty shillings, and where
a greater amount was involved, grant appeals to the General Court of
Trials, and "issue warrants in criminal cases." Their representation in
the Assembly was fixed at two, and their attention was called to the
clause in the charter declaring freedom of conscience. The question
of a harbor for the encouragement of the fisheries soon attracted
the attention of the Assembly, and, as early as 1665, we find John
Clarke with the Governor and Deputy-Governor examining this important
subject on the spot. But it was no work for a feeble Colony, and it
was not till two hundred years later and under a rich and powerful
national government that it was begun. Meanwhile the population grew
and throve under colonial protection. Nine years after its first civil
organization Block Island was incorporated under the name of New
Shoreham, "as sign," say the petitioners, "of our unity and likeness
to many parts of our native country."

The conflict of patents did not end with the promulgation of the
second charter. Massachusetts and Connecticut still persisted in
their claims, and Rhode Island in her resistance. Fortunately for
her the final decision lay with the Crown, and, although both of
the intruding colonies made repeated attempts to set up governments
of their own within the limits of the disputed territory, they were
restrained from persistent violence by the knowledge that Rhode
Island claimed and was prepared to exercise the right of appeal. An
opportunity soon offered of making an important step towards decision.
Four Commissioners--Colonel Richard Nichols, Sir Robert Carr, George
Cartwright and Samuel Maverick--were ordered to proceed to America,
reduce the Dutch provinces, and decide all questions of appeal,
jurisdiction and boundary between the colonies. On their arrival in
New York harbor, where they made the British fleet their headquarters,
Rhode Island sent a deputation of three, with John Clarke at their
head, to welcome the Royal Commissioners in the name of the Colony.

They set themselves promptly to their work. The first question that
came up for decision was the boundary line between Rhode Island
and Plymouth. This they were unable to settle, and reserved it for
reference to the King. Next came the vexed question of Narragansett.
The submission of the sachems was confirmed, an annual tribute of two
wolf-skins imposed, and the right to make war and sell land reserved
to the authorities set over them by the Crown. A new division of the
territory followed, all of the land west of the Bay, the southern half
of the present Kent County, being set apart as King's Province, under
the administration of the Governor and Council of Rhode Island, as
magistrates of King's Province. Last came the bitter Warwick question,
which had almost led to bloodshed. This was decided in favor of
Rhode Island, upon the ground that no colony had a right to exercise
jurisdiction beyond its chartered limits. It would have been well
for the three colonies if the dispute had ended here. But neither
Massachusetts nor Connecticut was satisfied. It was hard to give up the
beautiful Narragansett Bay, "the largest," say the Commissioners, "and
safest port in New England, nearest the sea and fittest for trade."

The Indian was fast disappearing, and sometimes under circumstances
which awaken a natural regret that where adverse civilizations met so
little could be done for the individual. The old Sachem Pumham still
clung to his home in the woodlands of Warwick Neck, encouraged, it was
believed, by the hope of support from Massachusetts. John Eliot, the
translator of the Bible, interceded for him. Roger Williams asked for
a little delay till the harvest was in. But twenty years experience
had shown that his residence there was incompatible with the peace
of the Colony. Sir Robert Carr, the Royal Commissioner, met Eliot's
intercession by sending him copies of all the papers relating to the
question, and so far satisfied the scruples of Williams as to secure
his hearty coöperation in the removal of this thorn from the side
of the struggling Colony. Thirty pounds were paid into the hands of
the old chief, a large sum for those days of general poverty, and he
removed forever beyond the limits of King's Province.

The Royal Commissioners on their arrival in Rhode Island had laid
before the Assembly five propositions as "the will and pleasure of the

  "1st. That all householders inhabiting the Colony take the oath
  of allegiance, and that the administration of justice be in his
  Majesty's name."

This brought up the delicate question of oaths, which, recurring from
time to time, was gradually shaped by successive modifications so as to
meet the demands of government without infringing upon the principle of

  "2d. That all men of competent estates and of civil conversation,
  who acknowledge and are obedient to the civil magistrate, though of
  different judgments, may be admitted to be freemen and have liberty
  to chose and to be chosen, officers, both military and civil."

This was accepted and the mode of admitting freemen prescribed.

  "3d. That all men and women of orthodox opinion, competent knowledge
  and civil lives, who acknowledge and are obedient to the civil
  magistrate and are not scandalous, may be admitted to the Sacrament
  of the Lord's Supper, and their children to Baptism, if they desire
  it, either by admitting them into the congregations already gathered,
  or permitting them to gather themselves into such congregations where
  they may enjoy the benefit of the Sacraments, and that difference of
  opinion may not break the bonds of peace and charity."

If we interpret the word orthodox according to the Rhode Island
standard of theological interpretation, this was already Rhode Island
doctrine and required no deliberation.

  "4th. That all laws and expressions in laws derogatory to his
  Majesty, if any such have been made in these late and troublesome
  times, may be repealed, altered and taken off the files."

This, also, was accepted, and a revision of the laws ordered for that

  "5th. That the Colony be put in such a posture of defence that if
  there should be any invasion upon this island, or elsewhere in this
  Colony (which God forbid) you might in some measure be in readiness
  to defend yourselves, or if need be to relieve your neighbors,
  according to the power given you by the King in your charter and to
  us in the King's commission and instructions."

This, also, struck a familiar cord. Provisions for self-defence had
already been made as circumstances called for them. A new militia law
was now passed, requiring six trainings a year under heavy penalties,
and allowing nine shillings a year for each enlisted soldier. Every man
was to keep on hand two pounds of powder and four of lead, and each
town was required to maintain a public magazine. To defray the expenses
of these magazines Newport was taxed fifty pounds, and the other three
towns twenty pounds each.

The Royal Commissioners were well satisfied with the conduct of
Rhode Island, and Rhode Island, surrounded by powerful enemies, had
every reason to be well satisfied with the Commissioners. Still
the encroachments and aggressions of Massachusetts and Connecticut
continued. As a prospective means of defence against them John Clarke
was again asked to carry the complaints of the suffering Colony to
England, and John Greene was chosen to accompany him. In 1672 a new
claimant appeared in the lists.

The Council of Plymouth had been lavish of its gifts of land, and in
its ignorance of American geography had formed a perplexing map of
conflicting claims. In one of its grants it had given the greater part
of Maine, together with Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Long Island and
the adjacent islands, to the Earl of Stirling. The Earl of Stirling
sold his grant to the Duke of York, already proprietor by royal gift of
the recently conquered province of New Netherlands. The term adjacent
islands would have included Acquidneck and the other islands of
Narragansett Bay. Prudence, one of the pleasantest and most valuable
of them, had been bought of the Indian proprietors by Roger Williams
and John Winthrop. In the course of time it passed by regular sale to
John Paine, a Boston merchant, who had won the favor of the Duke of
York by contributing liberally to the rebuilding of Fort James, in New
York harbor. Governor Lovelace, the Duke's attorney, felt that such
liberality was deserving of a signal reward. Paine was already the
owner of Prudence. Lovelace resolved to make it a free-manor by the
name of Toply manor, and confer the governership for life on Paine.
By a second grant the original quit-rent of two barrels of cider and
six pairs of capons was remitted, and this territory of seven miles in
length became an untaxed and independent government.

But Rhode Island was an uncongenial soil for feudal tenures. Paine
was arrested, indicted and convicted under the law of 1658 against
the introduction of a foreign jurisdiction, and Prudence without any
formal act of adjustment returned to its original position as a part of

Thus the Rhode Island Colony grew apace. From time to time questions of
practical government arose, to be worked out and solved by experience.
It was not easy to make citizens feel their duty to the State. More
than once the Assembly failed in attendance, to the serious detriment
of the public. Fines were imposed, and that some inducement to
greater regularity might be held out, a small pay of three shillings
a day, which was soon reduced to two, was attached to the function
of delegate. To facilitate the expression of opinion voting by proxy
was permitted, and to secure the election of the most acceptable
candidate it was enacted, "that whereas there may happen a division
in the vote soe that the greater half may not pitch decidedly on one
certaine person, yett the person which hath the most votes shall be
deemed lawfully chosen." The laws of the Colony had been the growth
of circumstances, expressing new wants and representing a progressive
society. Committees were appointed on several occasions to revise
and harmonize them. On the committee of October, 1664, we find Roger
Williams and John Clarke.

The progress of society has established a fundamental distinction
between legislative, executive and judicial powers, which was not known
to ancient publicists. The Court of Trials was composed of members of
the Assembly, and thus the whole body of law-makers was gradually led
to exercise judicial authority.

The Colony was poor, and the persecutions of Massachusetts and
Connecticut compelled it to incur expenses greatly beyond its means.
When Roger Williams went on his second mission to England he sold part
of his estates in order to raise the money for his expenses. When John
Clarke was sent to negotiate the second charter he was obliged to
burthen his estate with a mortgage. The whole sum due him by the Colony
was but three hundred and forty-three pounds, and yet so hard was it to
collect the tax by which this sum was to be paid that it was not until
twenty years after his death that the mortgage was lifted.

Internal dissensions and the alarm of foreign war troubled the Colony
in 1667. Two names long prominent in Rhode Island, Harris and Fenner,
appear at the head of two hostile factions in Providence and continue
for a while to disturb the public peace. England, whose wars now found
a reëcho in the colonies, was again at war with France and Holland.
Efficient measures were taken to put the Colony in a state of defence,
and thus new burthens were imposed. A council of war was organized
in each town. Ammunition was collected. Officers were commissioned.
Cannon were mounted at Newport. Cavalry corps were formed in the
towns. The Governor and Council met in frequent deliberations. The
Indians were disarmed and sent off the Island. A line of beacons was
established from Wonumytomoni Hill, near Newport, to Mooshausick
Hill, in Providence. Abundant proof was given of the energy and good
statesmanship of the Colony. But the day of real trial was not yet come.

The question of taxation was an early cause of difficulty. The poorer
towns felt themselves aggrieved, and often put insuperable obstacles
in the way of the collector. Even the tax for the payment of John
Clarke was disputed, and Roger Williams drew upon himself a severe
condemnation from Warwick by a letter wherein he urged its payment.
At last, in 1672, the Assembly took the matter seriously in hand and
passed a bill declaring, "that whoever opposed by word or deed, in town
meeting or elsewhere, any rate laid, or any other of the acts or orders
of the General Assembly should be bound over to the Court of Trials,
or imprisoned till it meet, at the discretion of the justice, for high
contempt and sedition; and if found guilty, should be fined, imprisoned
or whipped, as the court might adjudge."

It was not altogether without reason that this stringent act was
passed, for the aggressions of Connecticut and the alarm of an Indian
war made it necessary to strengthen as far as possible the hands of
government. But there was a danger in this legislative omnipotence
which the people quickly perceived, and the new Assembly of May undid
by a comprehensive repeal the work of its predecessor of April.

                               CHAPTER X.

                           KING PHILIP'S WAR.

I have now reached the story of the longest and bloodiest war which
the colonists had yet waged with the Indian. It is known in colonial
history as King Philip's war, and belongs more to the histories of
Massachusetts and Connecticut than to that of Rhode Island, although
two of its bloodiest battles were fought on Rhode Island soil. Like all
wars with barbarians it is filled with strange mixtures of barbarism
and heroism, the savage warrior often rising in the pursuit of his
ideal to a moral grandeur which his civilized antagonist failed to
attain. And although like the war with the Pequots it was fatal to
those who began it, it has left one of great names of Indian history,
and brought into play some of the greatest traits of Indian character.

First and most faithful of the allies of the English was Massasoit,
Sachem of the Wamponoags. A pestilence too malignant to be controlled
by the medical science of the natives had decimated his tribe and
exposed him to the ambition of the Narragansetts, his immediate
neighbors, a little before the arrival of the Pilgrims. Perceiving
only the present danger, he looked upon the advent of the white man
as a means of preserving his independence, and eagerly made a covenant
with him which he faithfully kept to the end of his life, (1661). At
his death his eldest son, Wamsutta, or Alexander as he was called by
the English, succeeded to his authority, but not to the confidence of
his allies. Suspicion arose; he was accused of plotting against the
colonists, and though an independent chief, summoned to appear at the
General Court at Plymouth. Disobeying the summons, he was threatened
with personal violence, and reluctantly yielding set forth with his
warriors and women, some eighty in all, under the escort of a small
body of troops commanded by Major Winslow. The indignity was too great
for the unfortunate chief. Winslow saw that he was sinking under
fatigue--for the weather was very hot--and wounded pride, for wrong was
hard to bear. "Take my horse," he said, touched with compassion. "No!"
replied the chief with a last touch of pride, "there are no horses for
my wife and the other women." When they reached Winslow's house, which
was on the way he sickened, and though allowed to turn back, quickly
died. Deep was the indignation of the Indians at this treatment of
their sachem, and even some of the colonists felt that they had gone
too far.

But there was one among them into whose breast the wrong sank deepest,
for it called him to avenge not only a chief but a brother. That
brother was known in colonial history as Philip of Pocanoket. The story
of Philip has been variously told, some looking upon him as a crafty
savage loving the wiles and cruelty of Indian warfare and fighting with
no other object than immediate success; others as an Indian patriot
contending for the independence of his country. In either case, if we
judge him by the standard of his own people, he was a great ruler in
peace and a valiant leader in war.

We are told that it was a sore grief to the young sachem to see the
white man daily taking a firmer hold of the soil, and the red man
melting before him. But how could the march of the invader be stayed?
The arrow was a feeble weapon with which to oppose the firelock, the
tomahawk even in the strongest hand was no match for the sabre. The
foresight, judgment, method and power of combination of the white man
enabled him to provide for the future while making wise provision for
the present. While he was well supplied with food, the Indian was
starving. While he was warmly clad, the Indian was exposed almost naked
to the rudest blasts of winter. Philip saw the danger and resolved to
face it.

His first step was to secure allies by winning over the neighboring
tribes. It was a broad field for diplomacy, wherein Indian not
Christian ethics prevailed, and was well suited to his bold and wily
nature. Yet with all his wiles he could not so completely cover his
track as not to excite the suspicions of the English. He was summoned
to Plymouth and closely questioned. But the hour for action was not yet
come and he succeeded in allaying suspicions by giving up his arms.

But treason beset his path. A "praying Indian," as the converts of
Eliot were called, who had lived some years with Philip as secretary
and counselor, betrayed the secret of the sachem's preparations. The
betrayal cost him his life but saved the Colony by compelling Philip to
begin his outbreak before his preparations were completed. It is said
that when he saw the necessity he cast himself upon the ground and wept

But there was no escaping it, and collecting his forces he fell upon
the settlements with fire and sword, and what was still more dreaded,
the scalping knife and tomahawk. The first to feel his fury was the
border town of Swanzey, where houses and barns were burnt and nine of
the inhabitants put to death and seven wounded. Succor came promptly
from Plymouth and Boston. The Indians fell back upon Mount Hope,
Philip's favorite seat. Mutilated corpses and burning dwellings marked
the track of the pursued. The pursuer looked round him in vain for an
enemy. A few dogs prowled round the deserted wigwams, but not an Indian
was to be seen.

And here comes into view one of the boldest leaders of the colonists
in their wars with the natives, Benjamin Church, of Plymouth, a man
skilled in all the arts of Indian warfare, and in whose ardent nature
a sound judgment and self-control were combined with intrepidity and
enterprise. He pressed close upon the track of the enemy, crossed the
bay to Aquidneck, and after a six hours' fight with a superior force
was compelled to take refuge on board a sloop just as his ammunition
began to fail.

The war was fairly begun, and for over a twelvemonth raged with various
fortunes but unabated fury. Plymouth and Massachusetts suffered most,
but it left bloody traces in Rhode Island also.

For unfortunately for Rhode Island, Philip's favorite seat was that
beautiful range of hills, some twelve miles long, which separates the
Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay from Narragansett Bay, thus bringing
him within the limits of the present Town of Bristol. Tradition
still points to a rock on the southernmost hill where the "noble
savage" loved to sit and gaze on the waters as they held their way to
the Atlantic, revolving, perhaps, in his embittered mind, a bloody
vengeance upon his arrogant foe. It was from Mount Hope that he set
forth to strike his first blow, and thither that he returned to fall by
the hand of a traitor. "But a small part of the domain of my ancestors
is left," he said to his friend, John Borden. "I am determined not to
live till I have no country."

Part only of the bloody record as I have already said belongs to Rhode
Island. In the modern Town of Tiverton, known in those earlier colonial
days as Pocasset, there was a swamp--seven miles in length--one of
those difficult spots wherein Indian warriors love to concentrate
their forces in the hour of danger. Here, amidst intricate paths and
trembling morasses Philip first awaited the assault of the enemy. The
colonists came up bravely to the charge, but were bravely repulsed
with the loss of sixteen men. Then they resolved to take possession
of the avenues to the swamp and starve the Indians into surrender.
But the wily Philip after standing a siege of thirteen days made good
his escape by night and took refuge on the Connecticut River, where
he was joined by the Nipmucks, a Massachusetts tribe which he had won
over to his fortunes. Surprises, pursuits, gallant stands, fearful
massacres follow. At Brookfield it is an ambush followed by a siege.
At Deerfield there was a battle in which the Indians were worsted,
then a second trial of strength in which the town was burnt. At Hadley
the enemy came while the inhabitants were in the meeting-house engaged
in their devotions. For a while the men, who had brought their arms
with them and were well trained to the use of them, thus held their
ground firmly. But the surprise had shaken their nerves, and they were
beginning to cast anxious glances around them, when suddenly in their
midst appeared a venerable man clad in the habiliments of another age
and with a sword in his hand. With a clear, firm voice he roused the
flagging courage of the villagers, reformed their ranks and led them
to the charge. A Roman would have taken him for one of the Dioscuri--a
Spaniard for St. Jago. What wonder that the Hadleyites thought him a
divine messenger, and if with such a proof of God's favor to inspirit
them, they sprang forward with dauntless hearts and drove their enemy
before them. When the victory was won, the same clear voice bade
them bow their heads in prayer, and when they raised them again the
mysterious speaker was gone. None but the village preacher knew that it
was Goffe, the regicide.

A surprise and massacre have left their name to Bloody Brook.
Springfield was burned. But at Hatfield Philip received a check, and
having laid waste the western frontier of Massachusetts, turned his
steps toward the land of the Narragansetts. For the success of the war
depended mainly upon the decision of that still powerful tribe. In the
beginning a doubtful treaty had been patched up between them and the
English. But their hearts were with their own race, and when Philip
came they resolved to cast in their fortunes with his. The colonists
prepared themselves sternly for the contest. Fifteen hundred men were
enlisted in Massachusetts, Plymouth and Connecticut; a body of friendly
Indians joined them, and though it was mid-winter, thinking only of
the necessity of striking a decisive blow they began their march.
Volunteers from Rhode Island joined them on the way, but Rhode Island
as a colony was not consulted.

The Narragansetts were on their own ground and had chosen the strongest
point for their winter quarters. It was an island of between three and
four acres in the midst of a vast swamp in the southwestern part of the
State, three or four miles from the present village of Kingston. To the
trees and other natural defences the Indian chief had added palisades
and such appliances as his rude engineering suggested. Here he had
built his wigwams and stored his provisions, and prepared to pass the

Towards this fated spot at the dawn of a December Sabbath the little
army of Puritans took their way. The snow was falling fast and the
wind dashed it in their faces, but bated not their speed. By one they
were in front of the stronghold, and though weary with the long march
and faint with hunger they pressed eagerly forward. The only entrance
was over the trunk of a tree. The Indian guns and arrows covered every
foot of the way. The colonists undaunted rushed on--officers in the
van. First to feel the murderous Indian aim was Captain Johnson, of
Roxbury. Captain Davenport, of Boston, fell next, but before he fell
penetrated the enclosure. More than two hours the battle raged with
unabated fury. At one time the English made their way into the fort,
but the Indians rallied and forced them back again. But over-confident
in the natural strength of their fortress they had neglected to secure
with palisades a strip which they had thought sufficiently guarded by
a sheet of water. The English discovered it, and crossing took the
astonished natives in the rear. At the same time some one shouted,
"Fire their wigwams." The fatal flame caught eagerly the light boughs
and branches of which the frail tenements were made, and in a few
moments the fort was all ablaze. Imagination shrinks appalled from the
scene that followed. Night was coming on. The snow storm had set in
with fresh violence. A thousand Indian warriors lay dead or wounded
within the fort. Five hundred wigwams were burning within the same
narrow compass--consuming alike the bodies of the wounded and the
dead. The women and children, like their protectors, perished in the
flames. Eighty of the English, too, were killed--a hundred and fifty
were wounded. Had the wigwams been spared there would have been food
and shelter for the victors. But victors and vanquished were driven
out into the bleak night, weary and spent with long marching and
fasting--the Indian to crouch in an open cedar swamp not far from the
fort--the English to return to the spot from whence they had set out
in the morning for this dreadful victory--Smith's plantation, near the
present village of Wickford. Several of the wounded died by the way.

Even after this blow Philip succeeded in arousing the Maine and New
Hampshire tribes to his support, and the war still raged for a while
through the New England settlements. Rhode Island suffered severely.
Warwick was burned, and the cattle driven off. Tradition says that when
the enemy approached Providence, Roger Williams, now a very old man,
went out to meet them. "Massachusetts," he said, "can raise thousands
of men at this moment, and if you kill them, the King of England will
supply their places as fast as they fall." "Let them come," was the
reply, "we are ready for them. But as for you, brother Williams, you
are a good man; you have been kind to us many years; not a hair of your
head shall be touched." Fifty-four houses in the northern part of the
town were burned, but the fearless old man was not harmed.

Many of the colonists took refuge on Aquidneck, where the inhabitants
of Newport and Portsmouth received them with great kindness. To protect
the island a little flotilla of four boats, manned each by five or six
men, was kept sailing around it day and night. There was no rest for
old or young. April opened a brighter prospect. Canonchet, chief of
the Narragansetts was taken prisoner. A young Englishman attempted to
examine him. "You much child; no understand matters of war. Let your
brother or your chief come. Him I will answer," was his haughty reply.
He was offered his life if his tribe would submit, but refused it.
The offer was renewed and he calmly said, "Let me hear no more about
it." He was sent to Stonington, where a council of war condemned him to
death. "I like it well," said he; "I shall die before my heart is soft,
or I have said anything unworthy of myself." That as many as possible
of his own race should take part in his execution Pequots were employed
to shoot him, Mohegans to cut off his head and quarter him, and the
Niantics to burn his body. When all this had been done, his head was
sent to the Commissioners at Hartford as "a taken of love and loyalty."

Throughout the spring and early summer the war still raged with
unabated violence. The Rhode Island Assembly was so hard pushed that
it was compelled to repeal the law exempting Quakers from military
service. A few days before the capture of Canonchet he had surprised
a party of Plymouth men near Pawtuxet. A battle was fought in an open
cedar swamp in Warwick. But at last fortune seemed to turn towards
the English. Philip's allies began to fall from him. His wife and
children were taken prisoners. Captain Church with a chosen band was
on his trail. Hunted from lair to lair he sought refuge at Mount Hope.
A few followers still clung to his fortunes. His mind was harassed by
unpropitious dreams, and in his weariness his pursuers came upon him
unawares. As he rose to flee he was shot down by a renegade Indian. The
victors drew his body out of the swamp, cut off his head, and dividing
the trunk and limbs into four parts hung them upon four trees. The head
was sent to Plymouth where it was hung upon a gibbet. One hand was sent
to Boston where it was welcomed as a trophy, and the other was given to
the renegade who shot him, by whom it was exhibited for money. His son
was sold into West India servitude.

With the death of Philip the war ended, although there were occasional
collisions and bloodshed. For two members of the New England
confederacy it had been a war of desolation. Connecticut, the third,
escaped unharmed. Rhode Island, which had never been a member of it
and had never been consulted concerning the war, although some of its
leading incidents occurred within her borders, suffered most. Her
second town was burned, her plantations laid waste and the inhabitants
of her main-land driven for shelter to the island.

With the vanquished it went hard. Many were killed in battle, some were
shot in cold blood by the sentence of an English court-martial. Many
were sold into slavery--with this distinction in favor of Rhode Island,
that while the other colonies sold their prisoners into unqualified
servitude, she established for hers a system of apprenticeship by which
the prospect of ultimate freedom was opened to all.

                              CHAPTER XI.


War was followed by pestilence, which moves so fatally in her train.
Of this pestilence we only know that it ran its deadly course in two
or three days, and left its traces in almost every family. Meanwhile
the legislature was sedulously repairing the breaches of the war.
Laws passed in order to meet an urgent want were repealed, and chief
among them as most repugnant to the tolerant spirit of the Colony
the law of military service. The farmers returned to their desolate
fields--citizens to the ruins of their hamlets. "Give us peace," they
may have said, "and we will efface the traces of these ruins."

But it was long before real peace returned. The Indians though subdued
were still turbulent. Active measures were required to prevent them
from passing on and off the Island at will, and building their wigwams
and mat-sheds on the commons and even on private lands. Rumsellers were
found ready to sell them rum, and at Providence parties were sent out
to scour the woods and guard against surprises. As an encouragement to
the men engaged in these duties their wounded were nursed at public

There was more serious danger from another quarter. Connecticut had
not renounced her designs against Rhode Island territory, nor was she
slow in declaring her intentions. The first step was an order of the
Council at Hartford forbidding every one, whether white man or Indian,
to occupy any lands in Narragansett without its consent. The Assembly
met this order by a counter prohibition. No jurisdiction was to be
exercised there but that of Rhode Island.

This declaration of claims was promptly followed by action. Three
planters who had returned to their plantations in Warwick were
seized by the Connecticut authorities and sent to Hartford. They
appealed to their own Governor, Governor Clarke for protection. One
of the most important measures of the Rhode Island government was
the reëstablishment of King's Province. Full power of protection was
conferred upon a court of justices to be held in Narragansett. No one
was allowed to enter the Province without permission from the Assembly.
Ten thousand acres of land were set apart for new settlers at the rate
of a hundred acres to each man--the new settlers to be approved by the
Assembly. Rhode Island threatened to appeal to the King. Connecticut
declared that she was ready to meet the appeal. Attempts at compromise
were made by both parties. Connecticut proposed to fix the line at
Coweset, the modern East Greenwich. Rhode Island offered to allow
Connecticut to dispose of half the unpurchased lands in the Province
if the settlers would accept the jurisdiction of Rhode Island. The
loss of King's Province would have imperilled the future independence
of Rhode Island, and therewith the great principle on which it was
founded. Connecticut could not renounce her last hope of securing a
part of Narragansett Bay. Neither offer was accepted, and it soon
became evident that no decision could be reached except by appeal to
the King. Peleg Sandford and Richard Bailey were chosen agents, and two
hundred and fifty pounds voted for their expenses. The money was to be
raised by the sale of ten thousand acres of lands in Narragansett at
the rate of a shilling an acre.

Meanwhile the Assembly was very active. A party change took place at
the election of 1677--Governor Arnold was chosen in place of Governor
Clarke. This was equivalent to a triumph of the war party. The militia
law was again revised, care still being taken to protect the rights
of conscience. How jealously these were guarded appears also in the
unwillingness to multiply oaths of office. Five years before an act had
been passed requiring deputies to take an engagement on entering upon
the duties of their office. This law met with great opposition at its
original passage, and its repeal was hailed with general satisfaction.
Every freeman, it was said, made an engagement of allegiance on
receiving the rights of citizenship. An oath is too solemn a thing to
be lightly taken--why should we use it? So reasoned those conscientious
men. By another act, also, they showed how fast they held to this
fundamental principle.

Another sect, the Sabbatarians or Seventh-Day Baptists, had taken
root and begun to flourish in the free air of Rhode Island. In 1667
they were sufficiently numerous to justify them in asking that market
day might be changed from Saturday, their Sabbath, to some other
day. Without breaking in upon an old custom by changing the day, the
Assembly added Thursday as another market day and thus quieted the
scruples of honest and useful citizens.

We have seen how promptly and firmly the Assembly met the encroachments
of Connecticut. Their remonstrances were followed up by spirited and
judicious action. The surest way to strengthen their hold upon the
disputed territory was by peopling it. Among the coves and inlets
which give such quiet beauty to Narragansett Bay there is none more
beautiful than that broad sheet of navigable water which still retains
in part its original name of Coweset. Here it was resolved to plant a
colony and build a town. Five hundred acres were set apart in lots on
the bay for house lots--four thousand five hundred in farms of ninety
acres, which were distributed among fifty men on condition of building
within a year and opening roads from the bay into the country. To
guard against rash speculation no colonist was to sell his land within
twenty-one years unless with the consent of the Assembly. Thus on the
verdant hill-side at whose foot a ripple from the Atlantic mingles with
the inland murmur of Mascachugh was built the pleasant hamlet of East

Another bitter controversy arose concerning the limits and extent of
the original Providence and Pawtuxet purchase--a question of great
local interest, and which lost none of its heat from having for
opposite leaders Roger Williams and William Harris. Several difficult
questions were mixed up with it, greatly disturbing the harmony of
the northern section of the Colony. Williams had shown himself to
be an inaccurate conveyancer in the drafting of the original deed.
This was purely a question of title. A still more difficult one arose
when Warwick was colonized. Agents were sent to England to ask for
the appointment of commissioners to decide the controversies which
the local tribunals were unable to decide effectually. John Greene
and Randall Holden were the agents for Warwick; William Harris for
Pawtuxet. This William Harris, as we have already seen, was a bold
thinker and an energetic actor. He made several voyages to England in
defence of his party, and followed up with great energy every advantage
that he gained before the tribunals at home. On his last voyage he fell
into the hands of Barbary corsairs, and though ransomed after a year of
captivity died soon after his redemption. The controversy did not cease
with his death. Other voyages were made to England and other decisions
obtained. But it was not till many years later that the unwise contest
was settled. Then, in 1696, the line between Providence and Warwick
was settled by the Assembly, with the Pawtuxet River for boundary.
That between Providence and Pawtuxet was continued till 1712 and then
settled by compromise.

                              CHAPTER XII.


The woes of Rhode Island begin anew. Scarcely had the war ceased when
Connecticut as we have already seen renewed her claim to Narragansett.
Massachusetts soon followed in the name of the Atherton company.
And presently Plymouth joined herself to the roll of Rhode Island's
enemies by advancing a claim to Aquidneck itself. Connecticut sought to
strengthen her pretensions by asserting that the disputed territory was
now hers by right of conquest. Thus far the sturdy little colony had
held its ground and grown and prospered in the midst of enemies. Would
she continue to hold it? Humanity itself was concerned in the answer,
for of all the powers and kingdoms of the earth she alone was founded
upon the principle of perfect toleration. The contest was a long and a
weary one, too long for the purpose of this volume, for it is a history
of seventy years of discussion and aggression, of bitter attack and
firm resistance, terminating at last in the triumph of the weak and
single-handed. Rhode Island not only preserved her original territory
but added to it from that of two of her enemies. I shall select a few
incidents to illustrate the progress of the contest.

It was to be waged for the most part by a new generation. The great
men of the foundation were passing away. John Clarke, who had thrown
the mild lustre of his purity over the first half of the life of the
Colony, died in 1676, leaving a deep longing, or rather a sore need of
his civil virtues and diplomatic skill. Samuel Gorton, whose tenacious
convictions made him stern and intolerant in public life though gentle
and attractive in private intercourse, and whose vigorous and subtle
intellect led him to rejoice in the bitterness of controversy as the
swift horse rejoices in the dust of the race-course, died the year
after. Roger Williams was spared a few years longer--bold, ardent,
disputatious, resolute, sincere and earnest to the last. But the young
of his middle age were growing old, and the companions of his active
years were falling around him. His colony had thriven and flourished.
The five men who followed him from Salem had become "a thousand or
twelve hundred men able to bear arms." In spite of the threatening of
the political horizon his strong faith told him that the being in whom
he had put his trust thus far would stand by him still. And thus he
laid his head upon his last pillow, a satisfied and happy man.

Another man of bold, original type--William Harris--had run his active
career, and died with his hands and heart still full of unfinished
work. We have seen to what length he carried his doctrine of individual
right to free action. We have seen him wage a bitter controversy with
Roger Williams. Time after time he crossed the Atlantic as agent of
the great boundary questions which fill so large a space in the Rhode
Island history of this period; the last time, and from which he was
never to return, as agent for Connecticut. A deep presentiment of
disaster seems to have filled his mind as he was preparing himself for
this voyage, and not satisfied with making his will he presented it
for probate with his own hands. The presentiment was well founded. On
the outward passage he was taken by a Barbary corsair and sold into
slavery. By the exertion of friends he was ransomed after a year's
captivity and made his way through Spain and France to England. But
the year of slavery had told hard upon him, and three days after his
arrival he died. It has been remarked by a profound thinker that while
Williams's more comprehensive mind could embrace both the practical
and ideal in their mutual relations, the moment that Harris touched
the ideal he became a radical. It does not seem to have struck his
cotemporaries as it does us to see him accepting the agency of
Connecticut in her controversy with Rhode Island. But he has a definite
place in Rhode Island history and did her good service through his long
and somewhat turbulent career.

William Coddington, who had been an eminent man in Massachusetts before
he became a very eminent man in Rhode Island, lived to take an active
part in the controversy, and died in 1678, while holding for the time
the office of Governor. His temporary usurpation had been forgiven and
forgotten, and men remembered only that he had sincerely renounced his
hostile designs and become a loyal and useful citizen.

Such were some of the men who bore the largest part in moulding the
original character of Rhode Island. Talent and character like theirs
was required to guide the little Colony through the dangers that
surrounded it. But before we return to the external history of these
days we will gather from the acts of the Assembly a few records of the
moral and intellectual life of the Colony and its progress to a higher

The publicity of the laws is a question of deep interest in every stage
of society, but particularly interesting in small communities. In the
early days of Rhode Island they were published by beat of drum under
the seal of the Colony. The violation of a law found no excuse in the
plea of ignorance.

The sessions of the Assembly were held in a tavern or sometimes in a
private house, always beginning, as the Roman assemblies did, at a
very early hour. We have already seen that early attempts were made to
allure the members to their duty by payment. It was still some time
before this became a fixed law. In 1679 a resolution was passed for
paying the board and lodging of the members of the Assembly and of
the Court of Trials. In the May session of 1680 a definite sum was
fixed upon--seven shillings a week. The true nature of the reciprocal
obligation of the citizen and the State was not yet fully understood.

The frequent appeals to England which the aggressions of the other
New England colonies made necessary, made it also necessary to keep
resident agents at the English court. Thus the increased expenditure of
the Colony kept pace with the increase of her resources.

In 1678 a tax was laid which enables us to form a tolerably accurate
idea of the financial condition of the Colony. Its full amount was
three hundred pounds. "Of this sum Newport was assessed one hundred and
thirty-six pounds, Portsmouth sixty-eight, New Shoreham and Jamestown
twenty-nine each, Providence ten, Warwick eight, Kingston sixteen,
afterwards reduced to eight, East Greenwich and Westerly two each." As
the greater part of this tax was commutable, we are enabled to form a
pretty accurate idea of the price of living just after the war. "Fresh
pork was valued at twopence a pound, salted and well packed pork at
fifty shillings a barrel, fresh beef at twelve shillings a hundred
weight, packed beef in barrels thirty shillings a hundred, peas and
barley malt two and sixpence a bushel, corn and barley, two shillings,
washed wool sixpence a pound, and good firkin butter fivepence. The
quarter part of this tax was paid in wool at the rate of fivepence a
pound." If we compare these prices with those of 1670, we shall see
that war had proved here as everywhere a great scourge.

In the law by which this tax was levied we find a practical
illustration of the principle which less than a century later became
the fundamental principle of colonial resistance to the mother country.
None but a complete representation of all the towns could levy a tax,
or as it was formulated by James Otis--taxation without representation
is tyranny.

It is also worthy of observation that there was a tendency to extend
the usage of election to direct choice by vote of the freemen. The
office of major which at its first institution during Philip's war was
filled by vote of the militia, passed, in 1678, to the whole body of
freemen. The necessity of a distinction between martial and civil law
seems, also, to have made itself more sensibly felt at the same period,
and a permanent court-martial was formed for the trial of delinquent
soldiers. As the commercial spirit of the Colony increased the
necessity of a bankrupt law was felt, but on trial it was found to be
premature and repealed. An attempt was also made to avoid the conflict
of land titles in Narragansett, where the interest of townships as
well as of private individuals was involved. To correct this evil
which struck at the root of social organization the Assembly ordered
that the disputed tracts should be surveyed and plats made of them. For
the more efficacious protection of this fundamental interest it was
ordered that all who held by Indian titles "should present their deeds
to be passed on by the Assembly." Descending to minuter particulars,
we find a law against fast riding--first, in "the compact parts of
Newport," and not long after, of Providence, also. We find it also
ordered that a bell be provided and set up in some convenient place
for calling the Assembly and courts and council together. Of deeper
interest was the act appointing a committee to make a digest of the
laws, "that they may be putt in print." Only part, however, of this
resolution was carried out, and it was not till 1719 that the laws were
put into a permanent form.

Not the laws only but the language in which they were expressed
attracted attention. We now meet for the first time in the enacting
clause of a law, "and by the authority thereof be it ordained, enacted
and declared." Instead of executor administrator was written, "it being
in that case the more proper and usual term in the law." In one act we
find an instance of grim humor. The accounts of a general sergeant were
found to be in inextricable confusion. The auditing committee resolved
to call them square "and voted that by this act there is a full and
fynal issue of all differences relative to said accounts from the
beginninge of the world unto this present Assembly."

In some instances the public mind was not made up concerning a law, and
one Assembly would undo the work of its predecessor. One of the most
important acts of this class was an act denying the revisory power of
the Assembly over decisions of courts of trials. In the August session
of 1680, after two years of experiment, the act was repealed.

The existence of a law proves, also, the existence of an evil.
In the May session of 1679, we find an act for the protection of
servants, whom "sundry persons being evil-minded" were in the habit
of overtasking at home, and then hiring others to let out for work
on Sunday--thus infringing the law which practically made Sunday a
holiday. This is not a pleasant picture, but the action of the Assembly
forbidding the abuse shows that public opinion was sound. We find,
also, that then as now sailors were more or less at the mercy of sailor
landlords. The Assembly took up their defence. Those who trusted a
sailor for more than five shillings without an order from his captain
forfeited their claim. Another law bearing directly upon navigation
was passed in the May session of 1679. "The master of every vessel of
over twenty tons burthen was required to report himself to the head
officer of the town upon arrival and departure, and if over ten days
in port, then to set up notice in two public places in the town three
days before sailing." In this last act we see the influence of the
navigation act which was so long held to be the guardian genius of
England's commercial prosperity, and which was communicated to all the
colonies by royal edict in 1680.

And here, as illustrative of border life when Rhode Island was a border
colony, comes the story of John Clawson's curse. This John Clawson
was a hired servant of Roger Williams, who, at the instigation of a
desperate fellow by the name of Herendeen, was attacked in the night
from behind a thicket of barberry bushes, near the old north burial
ground by an Indian named Waumaion. The Indian, who was armed with a
broad axe, split open Clawson's chin at the first blow. The wound was
mortal, but the wounded man lived long enough to utter his curse--that
"Herendeen and his posterity might be marked with split chins and
haunted with barberry bushes" forever. The malediction, legend
says, was fulfilled, and the descendants of the murderer were still
distinguished in the last century by a furrowed chin, and fired up with
indignation at the mention of a barberry bush.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

                       ENGLAND.--CHARTER REVOKED.

Disputes of title fill, as we have seen, a full but monotonous chapter
in this part of our history. Among them was the dispute for Potowomut,
a neck of land on Coweset Bay which had been purchased of the Indians
by order of the Assembly as early as 1659. Bitter disputes soon
followed, Warwick claiming it, and individuals both English and Indians
disputing the claim. At last the question was disposed of, as was
supposed, finally, at a town meeting in 1680, in which it was divided
"into fifty equal lots or rights, and the names of the proprietors were
inserted on the records." But the very next year we meet it again as a
contest between Warwick and Kingston. At last the Assembly interposed,
forbidding all occupancy of the land till further orders, warning
off intruders, but permitting the Warwick men to mow and improve the
meadows as heretofore.

Among the questions brought before the Assembly in the time of these
disputes, was the question of the power of the Town Council to reject
or accept new citizens. The question was brought up by Providence and
decided in the affirmative. The form of application for leave to reside
has been preserved: "To y^e Towne mett this 15th of December 1680. My
request to y^e Towne is; that they woold grant the liberty to reside in
y^e Towne during the Townes Approbation, behaving myselfe as a civill
man ought to doe, Desireing not to putt y^e Towne to any charge by my
residing here; and for what y^e Towne shall cause farther to enquire of
me, I shall see I hope to give them a true and sober Answer thereunto.
Y^{or} friend and servant Tho. Waters."

One of the lessons of the war had been the importance of cavalry, and
in 1682 a company was raised in the main-land towns consisting of
thirty-six men, exclusive of officers. To put them on the same footing
with the infantry they were allowed the same privileges, and held to
the same obligation of exercising six days in the year. Not long after
the number of majors was doubled, and John Greene appointed for the
main-land and John Coggeshall for the island. Measures were also taken
to give greater efficiency to the courts, and it was decided that the
October sessions should be held in Providence and Warwick annually.
That there might be no delay in the execution of sentences, each of
these towns was required to furnish a cage and stocks. Thus surely but
gradually the resolute Colony went on in its work of organization. But
perilous days were at hand.

The appeals of the colonies to England had attracted her attention to
these distant domains, which but for that might long have continued
to grow and prosper in obscurity. But when called upon to grant
privileges she naturally began to examine into the nature of her
rights, and interpreted them not by the genius of the colonies, but by
the commercial interests of the mother country. The act of navigation,
which had its origin in English jealousy of Holland, bore hard from
the beginning on the commercial industry of the colonies. Although
first passed by the republican Parliament of 1651, it did not become
an efficient act until the first Parliament of Charles II. in 1660,
when it was formally proclaimed in all the colonies by beat of drum.
Custom-houses with all their parapheranalia followed close in its
track. The burthen was soon felt, and smuggling, the natural relief of
overtaxed commerce, became general. The bays and inlets of New England
afforded great facilities for illicit trade, and the public conscience
could not long resist the temptation. We shall see before another
century is over to what England's narrow policy led.

Questions relating to the colonies were generally referred to the
Board of Trade. In 1680 came a letter from the board containing
twenty-seven queries concerning Rhode Island. The agents in England
also went prepared to give all the information that was required for
the understanding of the claims and condition of the Colony. As long
as Charles, the grantor of the charter lived, there was nothing done to
excite alarm. But no sooner did his bigoted brother ascend the throne,
than it became evident that an entire change was to be made in colonial
policy. Rhode Island was quick to feel the blow. A commission of nine
was appointed to settle the vexed question of King's Province. Head of
the commission was the notorious Cranfield, who had made himself a bad
name by his tyrannical government of New Hampshire. Next came Randolph,
detested in Massachusetts for his oppressive administration of the acts
of trade. These names excited gloomy anticipations which were presently

And here let us pause a moment to observe the exact situation of
Rhode Island at this critical emergency. Having had her origin in a
practical appeal from the intolerance of Massachusetts, she had never
been admitted to the confederation which gave unity and strength to
the other New England colonies. Her doctrine of soul-liberty was a
stench in their nostrils, and her possession of the broad and beautiful
Narragansett Bay so favorable for maritime and internal commerce,
was, as we have seen, a constant subject of bickering and envy.
Massachusetts laid claim to Pawtuxet and Warwick, and a Massachusetts
company to part of Narragansett; Connecticut to a large portion of the
remainder of Narragansett, Plymouth to Aquidneck and other islands
of the Bay. Little was left to Rhode Island but the plantations on
the Mooshausick. All of these claims were enforced by all the means
and arts within the command of the stronger colonies except actual
war, and resisted with admirable resolution and perseverance by the
weaker colony. We have seen how agents were sent to plead her cause at
the court of their common sovereign, how every attempt to establish
jurisdiction had been promptly resisted and every intrusion instantly
repelled. In the darkest hour she never lost heart nor bated one jot
her rights. But the darkest hour of all was at hand.

Cranfield and Randolph set themselves zealously to their congenial
task. The Assembly met for theirs. The Commissioners refused to
establish their position by showing their credentials. The Assembly
refused to recognize them officially without credentials. The rupture
was open and violent. The Assembly appointed new agents to repair to
court and lay the evidence in behalf of the Colony before the King. A
tax of four hundred pounds was imposed to meet their expenses. Much
importance was attached to an address to the King drawn up by Randall
Holden and John Greene. Meanwhile the Commissioners on their part were
not idle. Cranfield wrote to the Board of Trade that the colonies were
disloyal. "It never will be otherwise," he added, "till their charters
are broke and the college at Cambridge utterly extirpated, for from
thence these half-witted philosophers turn either Atheists or seditious
preachers." He was right, for it was at Cambridge that Otis and Quincy
and Warren and the two Adamses imbibed the principles which led to

It was in 1684, in the midst of these struggles, that a petition of the
Jews for protection was presented to the Assembly and granted--Rhode
Island remaining true to the last to the principle of her origin.

The decision of the Royal Commissioners was unfavorable to Rhode
Island, and it is hard to see how she could have escaped mutilation.
But she was menaced by a still greater danger. In 1684 Charles the
Second died, and his brother James ascended the throne, bringing with
him a narrow mind and a bad heart. To establish an arbitrary government
and restore the supremacy of the Romish Church were the cardinal points
of his policy. The American colonies afforded a favorable field for the
trial. It began by the revocation of their charters, and was speedily
followed up by putting the government of the New England colonies under
one head.

Rhode Island found herself where she stood at the beginning, a
government of towns. Her original four towns had united under one
government for self-defence, and now that they were arbitrarily
separated by a power too great to be resisted they naturally fell back
upon their original municipal institutions. This closing scene is
not without its dignity. The Assembly met at its accustomed time. The
Governor, Walter Clarke, solemnly called upon the freemen for counsel.
The whole question of dangers and difficulties was discussed, and
wisely preferring petition to resistance, it was resolved to address
a solemn appeal to the King for the preservation of their charter.
Then all returned to its original order. The freemen met and discussed
their town interests in their town meetings. Town officers elected
by their townsmen performed their accustomed duties. The tradesman
and the farmer went on in his chosen calling and the towns throve and
prospered, still looking with unwavering trust to a day of redemption.

                              CHAPTER XIV.


Thus a provisional government took the place of the charter government
under which New England had grown so rapidly. A great and successful
experiment in political science was suddenly checked, and hopes which
had led so many devout and earnest men to renounce the conveniences of
home for the perils and discomforts of a wilderness were rudely crushed
at the very moment when they seemed nearest their fulfillment. The
same blow which fell upon Rhode Island fell with equal fatality upon
Massachusetts and Connecticut. The government by charter ceased. The
two most active agents of James in this remoulding of the government of
the colonies were Dudley, President of the Council, and Randolph, the
Secretary, whose despotic conduct in Boston has already been mentioned.
Here was a broader and more congenial field.

It was resolved as has been seen to address the King in behalf of the
Colony, and John Greene, venerable by years and illustrious by public
services, was appointed to carry the address to England and advocate
it as agent for the Colony. He had watched over the cradle of the
Colony--who so fit to stand by its grave.

Unfortunately, party had lost none of its virulence even in this
supreme hour, and a small minority of dissentients was found to the
sober and judicious conduct of the Assembly. Among them were members
of the Atherton company, and among their methods of attack were bitter
aspersions upon the personal character of the colonial agent. The
provisional government found enough to do in preparing the colonies
for their new life, and one of their earliest measures was a final
organization of King's Province. Among the changes that they made was
the changing of the names of its three towns. Kingston, the largest,
was called Rochester, Westerly, the next in size, became Haversham, and
East Greenwich, the smallest, took the name of Dedford. The western
boundary of Haversham was Pawcatuck River. Dedford was extended on the
north to Warwick, and enlarged by the peninsula of Potowomut. Part of
the actual settlers were living on land to which they had no legal
claim. Preëmption rights were granted them and time given them to
"arrange with the owners by rent or purchase."

At last, on the 20th of December, 1686, the Royal Governor, Sir Edmond
Andros, arrived in Boston. He came in a ship of the royal navy and
brought with him two companies of the royal army, the first regular
troops that had ever been seen in Massachusetts. He had already
been in the colonies and knew the spirits with whom he would have to
deal. Rhode Island, like her sisters, had everything to fear from his
arbitrary will. But she had treated him with respectful consideration
on his former visit, and was now treated by him with less than his
usual harshness.

He entered at once upon his welcome task, the transformation of a
constitutional government into a despotism. Massachusetts came first in
order, and the very first blow was a deadly one, an outrage upon her
convictions and a deep humiliation to her pride. Her Puritan theocracy,
which had penetrated every part of her civil polity, was overthrown,
and the service of the church of England was openly celebrated. In this
Rhode Island had no change to fear, for freedom of conscience was, till
other ends were accomplished, the doctrine of the King himself. In all
other things all the colonies fared alike.

We have seen how watchful Rhode Island was of the taxing power, and how
nearly she had reached the great fundamental principle that taxation
and representation go together. Andros sent out his tax-gatherers
without consulting the tax-payers. His object was to raise money,
no matter how. Farming the revenue, always a favorite device of
despotism, offered facilities which he promptly turned to account. The
augmentation of fees was an abundant source. Those of probate were
increased twenty-fold. Writs of intrusion opened another channel for
organized robbery. No one could tell how soon he might be compelled to
buy his farm over again. Even marriage afforded a field for the display
of arbitrary power. Necessity at first compelled the government to
recognize the validity of civil marriages. But as the transformation
of laws and usages progressed, no marriages were recognized as valid
which were not celebrated according to the rights of the Church of
England. To feel the odious tyranny of this law it should be remembered
that there was but one Episcopal clergyman in the Colony. Another
oppressive act was the introduction of passports, whether for the fees
they brought in or in order to throw obstacles in the way of a free
communication among the colonies, it would be difficult to tell.

Andros's commission gave him the power to appoint and remove his
counselors at will. The council consisted of nineteen members, five of
whom were from Rhode Island. One of them, John Greene, was absent on
his agency in England. Their first meeting was held at Boston. In this
the usual oaths of allegiance and office were taken, the two Quaker
members from Rhode Island being allowed to make their affirmation. All
officers in commission were continued in office during the Governor's
pleasure, and all laws that did not clash with the laws of England,
were retained. The first was the only full meeting of this impotent
board, which only met to confirm the resolves of an arbitrary Governor.

In substance Andros had his own way, though not without occasional
opposition and now and then humiliation. In Rhode Island the charter
was adroitly put out of his reach by Governor Clarke and not reproduced
till he had left Newport. In Connecticut it was hidden in the hollow of
an oak. The seal of Rhode Island was broken. The members of the council
were constantly changing, and few of them, according to Randolph, cared
for the King. "His Excellency has to do with a perverse people."

We meet some of the questions of our own day. Licenses for the sale
of liquor were granted in Newport, but no liquor could be sold in
King's Province. How well the prohibition was obeyed it is impossible
to say. Poor laws also appear in the guise of taxes for the support
of that perplexing part of the population. It would be tedious and
useless to follow the despotic Governor through all the changes of his
administration of two years and four months. Suffice it to say that he
had fully imbibed the spirit of his master, and did all that he could
to reduce the colonies to servitude. A few provisions, however, may be
mentioned as illustrating the condition of the country. With the growth
of the towns fires became sources of danger. To enforce watchfulness
the person in whose house a fire broke out was fined two and sixpence,
and for still greater security every householder was required to set
"a ladder reaching to the ridge pole, to every house that he owned."
Attention was called to the fishing in Pettaquamscot pond and an order
passed for encouraging it. A tax was laid for the extermination of
wolves, which seem still to have been very numerous.

In April, 1688, Andros's commission was enlarged so as to comprise New
York and the Jerseys, all under the general appellation of New England.
Enlarged powers and minute instructions accompanied the new commission,
and among the former was the subjection of the press to the will of the

But another change was drawing nigh. There was nothing in common
between James the Second and the New England colonist, and Andros
represented his master too faithfully not to be bitterly hated. Even
Thanksgiving, that thoroughly New England festival, was neglected
when announced by his proclamation. Some spoke out their detestation
openly to his face. "I suppose," he said one morning to Dr. Hooker, the
great clerical wit of Hartford, "all the good people of Connecticut
are fasting and praying on my account." "Yes," replied the Doctor, "we
read, 'This kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.'"

Rhode Island suffered less at his hands than any other colony. The
enforced toleration which excited such strong feelings in Massachusetts
met with no opposition in a territory where Baptists and Quakers
and Puritans and Separatists worshipped according to their own
convictions. John Greene soon became aware that there was no prospect
of a return to the free life of the charter so long as James held the
throne. Therefore, without renouncing the hope of a better future,
he confined his negotiations for the present to questions of minor,
though important bearing. Chief among them was the putting an end to
the intrusions of the outside claimants to Narragansett. This brought
up all the unsettled claims which had been so pertinaciously enforced
and so firmly resisted. The Atherton claim was thrown out by the
Commissioners as extorted from the Indians by fear. The Connecticut
claim was repudiated upon grounds set forth in the Rhode Island
charter. Several individual titles, both Indian and English, were
considered, and after careful examination, the right of Rhode Island to
King's Province was confirmed for the third time--"against Connecticut
in point of jurisdiction, and against the so-called proprietors in
point of ownership." This report was met in England by a petition of
Lord Culpepper in behalf of the Atherton company for grants of land
not already occupied and the bass ponds, upon such quit rents as might
seem good to the King. The petition was granted in part and Andros
was intrusted to "assign them such lands as had not already been
occupied--at a quit rent of two and sixpence for every hundred acres."

Thus far Rhode Island has come off with honor in her contests with her
neighbors. There was one, however, in which she won no honor. A party
of unfortunate Huguenots had established themselves in King's Province,
forming a little settlement of their own and paying honestly for their
lands. But the French name was not loved in the colonies and their
Protestant neighbors persecuted them away. Traces of them may still be
found in the neighborhood where they settled, which bears to this day
the name of Frenchtown.

Meanwhile great changes were taking place in England, where James
was rapidly running his career of bigotry and oppression. Slow as
the communications between the mother country and her colonies were
there was still communication enough to enable the latter to form
some conception of the state of public feeling in the former. The new
government had never acquired any stability in New England. The Council
was constantly changing, and after the first meeting never all met
together again. The public mind was ripe for revolution, and when the
first tidings of the fall of James reached New England she was prepared
to accept them with all their consequences. Unfortunately for Andros he
was in Boston at this critical moment, and Boston was ready to act with
her wonted vigor. The Governor was summoned to surrender his authority,
and refusing, was thrown into prison. Massachusetts made haste to
reörganize her government, but her charter was gone.

                              CHAPTER XV.


Rhode Island had never hated Andros as bitterly as the other colonies
had hated him, for the freedom of conscience which he endeavored to
force upon them was in her a fundamental principle. But she loved her
charter and rightly believed that it was the only sure pledge of her
liberties. Therefore, when Dudley, the Chief-Justice, undertook to
open his court, he was seized and put in jail. This was a bold casting
off of the new government. The next step was a cautious return to the
old. A letter from Newport came out calling upon the freemen of Rhode
Island to meet there "before the day of usual election by charter,"
to take counsel together concerning public affairs. When the day came
the freemen met, and doubtless with all their usual freedom of debate,
prepared a statement of their reasons for resuming their charter
government. Party lines were already sharply drawn. On one side were
the Royalists, led by the rich merchant, Francis Brinley, who opposed
the resumption of the charter, and called for a general government by
immediate appointment of the King. On the other were the Republicans,
stronger both by number and by fervor of opinion. Their boldness
secured the freedom of the Colony. In an address to "the present
supreme power of England," they gave their reasons for returning to
their charter, and asked to have their action approved. Deputy-Governor
Coggeshall, with several assistants, resumed their functions, but
Governor Clarke, whose characteristic trait was caution, declined and
the Colony was ten months without a governor.

Still, in May, all the old officers were reinstated and "all the laws
superseded in 1686" resumed their place on the schedule. "The charter
was produced in open Assembly" and then restored to Governor Clarke
for safe keeping. When the question of the legality of the resumption
of charter government came before the King, he approved it upon the
written opinion of the law officers of the crown that "the charter,
never having been revoked, but only suspended, still remained in full
force and effect." Heartily must Rhode Island and Connecticut have
rejoiced that theirs had been so successfully guarded. In May came
the welcome tidings that William and Mary had been acknowledged in
England. They were promptly and joyfully acknowledged in the colonies.
Dr. Increase Mather, a great name in Massachusetts, was in London on
behalf of the colonies when the revolution broke out. He obtained an
early audience of William and pleaded for the recall of Andros. The
recall was granted, and after ten months of confinement the crestfallen
Governor was sent to England for trial. But his conduct was viewed in
a different light in the mother country from what it had been in the
colonies. "The charges against him were dismissed by the royal order,
on the ground of insufficiency--and that he had done nothing which was
not fully justified by his instructions." As a compensation for his
long imprisonment, he was presently made Governor of Virginia.

In February, 1689-90, the Assembly met for the first time in four years
and entered upon the work of organization. Seventeen deputies, together
with the officers chosen in May, were present. Absentees were summoned.
Clarke refused to serve as Governor. Christopher Almy also declined.
The bold but aged Henry Bull was chosen in his stead. After some
hesitation Clarke gave up the charter and other official papers. Funds
which had been appropriated to the building of a Colony House were held
by Roger Goulding, who promptly paid them over. Andros had broken the
original colonial seal. A new seal, Hope with her anchor, was procured.
Rhode Island's exposed situation laid her open to attacks by sea, and
thus imposed the necessity of new expenses. War had broken out between
England and France, and the colonies were to come in for their share
of war's sufferings. Some fear was felt of the colony in Frenchtown,
and the few survivors of the unfortunate settlement were required to
repair to the office of John Greene, in Warwick, and take the oath of
allegiance to the King.

Thus the government was regularly organized and public business began
to move on in its accustomed track. At the May session of 1690 Governor
Bull declined a reelection, and John Easton was chosen in his place.
John Greene was chosen Deputy-Governor. One more was added to the list
of assistants, who thus became ten. Here ends the probation of Rhode

Poor and weak, through toil and sacrifice, in spite of internal
dissensions and external enmities, calumniated for the great truth
on which she was founded, coveted for the beautiful territory which
she had redeemed from the wilderness, she had solved the problem of
self-government and proved that the religious virtues may flourish
without the aid of civil authority. The struggle for existence is over.
She now enters through industry upon the path to wealth and culture.

The sessions of the Assembly had been held hitherto in taverns or
private houses. But now a proper edifice, the town house, is built for
public use and the public meetings are held in it. Thus far, also,
the governor, the deputy-governor and the assistants have received no
compensation for their services. They are henceforth exempted from the
Colony tax. War with the French and Indians was raging all along the
northern frontier. New York was the colony most exposed. Leister, her
Governor, called on the other colonies for aid. Rhode Island, whose
extensive water fronts left her open to attacks by sea, could not send
men, and therefore taxed herself three hundred pounds to send money.
The wisdom of this course was soon apparent. Seven French privateers
made a descent upon the islands on the coast, committing horrible
excesses. Bonfires were kindled at Pawcatuck to alarm the country,
and a sloop well manned sent out from Newport to reconnoitre. A night
attempt was made upon the town but failed. One upon New London was
repulsed. Two sloops carrying ninety men were sent out under Thomas
Paine and John Godfrey to fight the enemy. A bloody battle which lasted
two hours and a half followed, and the French were driven off with
the loss of half their crews and a valuable prize. Block Island was
particularly exposed during this war. Four attacks were made upon it,
the inhabitants ill treated and their cattle driven off. In the last
invasion the privateersmen were defeated in "an open pitched battle."

The war pressed so heavily on the commercial interests of the
community that it was found necessary to lay a tonnage duty of a
shilling a ton upon the vessels over ten tons burthen of other colonies
that broke bulk in Newport harbor. The payment might be made in money
or in powder, at the rate of a shilling a pound, and the products of
the duty were employed in keeping up a powder magazine on the island.
Rhode Islanders had not yet learnt to pay their taxes promptly, and
more than once the Assembly was called together to devise the means of
collecting sums already voted. The tonnage duty was a welcome, though a
small contribution, to the scanty resources of the little Colony. A few
years later a new source was opened by the levy of a duty upon foreign
wines, liquors and molasses--that upon molasses being a half-penny a
gallon. In the August session of 1698 an elaborate tax law in twelve
sections was enacted, and a tax of eight hundred pounds currency was
voted. By this act a poll tax of a shilling a head was imposed upon
all males between sixteen and sixty. But this, also, was not easily
collected, and years passed before an adequate method of taxation was
devised and applied.

Shortly after the return to the charter the small-pox broke out. "Rhode
Island is almost destroyed by the small-pox," says a cotemporary
letter. When the Assembly met they were unable to open the session
with the prescribed formalities, for the only copy of the charter was
in the keeping of the recorder, who was sick with the dreaded disease,
and the reading of the charter was the first step towards organization.
When the pestilence was passed, the attention of legislation was
directed to the militia laws, which were revised and brought more into
harmony with the material wants of the Colony. In this connection it
may not be out of place to remember that the town house was enlarged
and a belfry added to it. Government was gradually putting on the
external forms of authority.

In 1691 a change occurred on the eastern border which threatened
her inter-colonial relations. Plymouth was merged in Massachusetts,
which was thus brought into larger contact with Rhode Island. Sir
William Phipps, a native of Massachusetts, was appointed Governor,
with a commission which gave him command over all the forces of New
England, by land and by sea--a flagrant violation of the charters
of Rhode Island and Connecticut, and which was vigorously repelled.
Older grievances were not entirely healed. Some Pawcatuck men asked to
be placed under the laws of Connecticut. The leaven of the Atherton
company dispute had not yet spent its force. But the change of tone in
the language of the correspondence shows that the bitterness which had
distinguished its early stages was gradually passing away.

This (1692) was the time of the witchcraft trials in Massachusetts,
a delusion in which Rhode Island did not share, for though she gave
witchcraft a place on her statute books as a tribute to a superstition
of the age, she never brought it into her courts. She was busied with
more important questions.

Phipps was urging his claim to command the New England forces.
John Greene, now Deputy-Governor, went to Boston with one of the
assistants to discuss the matter. They got no satisfaction from the
aspiring governor, either upon the question of command or upon the
equally important question of the boundary line. The whole matter was
referred to the Board of Trade and by them to the Attorney-General,
who decided in favor of Rhode Island. A distinction, however, was made
between peace and war. In time of war the commander-in-chief might, in
conjunction with the governor, call out the quota prescribed by the
Board of Trade. Rhode Island's quota for service under the Governor
of New York was forty-eight men. The eastern boundary question was
referred to the New York Council as being disinterested and near
the spot. The Narragansett dispute though so often decided in favor
of Rhode Island, still reappeared from time to time. Several years
were yet to pass before the boundaries both on the east and the west
were definitively settled and the stout little Colony secured in the
possession of her own territory. I shall no longer attempt to follow
the story through its obscure ramifications. It has served thus far to
illustrate colonial life, and show with what tenacity of purpose and
devotion to a great principle Rhode Island followed up her labor of
organization. It was the border war of our colonial history.

The necessity of regular communication between the colonies began to
be seriously felt, and part of John Greene's mission to Boston in
1692 was to negotiate the establishment of a post office. Early in
the following year Thomas Neale, acting under patent from the King,
established a weekly mail from Boston to Virginia. Rhode Island came
in for her share of the advantage. The rate of postage upon a single
inland letter from Boston to Rhode Island was sixpence. And thus was
woven one of the first links in the chain which, before another century
was passed, had bound all the colonies in an indissoluble union.

We have seen a gradual approach towards a just comprehension of the
relations of the state to its officers. The decisive step was taken
in 1695, when a salary of ten pounds was voted to the governor, six
pounds to the deputy-governor, four pounds to the assistants and three
shillings a day to the deputies while in session. Absentees forfeited
twice their pay.

In the following year an important change was made in the organization
of the Assembly, the deputies becoming a separate house coordinate with
the assistants, each house occupying a separate room and having a veto
upon the action of the other. It will help to form a correct idea of
daily life in the country if I add that a bounty of ten shillings was
paid for killing old wolves, and of the seaports and sea coast that
privateers were fitted out from them with very irregular commissions.
Blackbirds fared hard in Portsmouth, where every householder was
required to kill twelve before the tenth of May, under penalty of
two shillings, and with a premium of a shilling a head for all over
twelve. This was to serve as a protection for fields. But the serious
danger was from the Indians, for the treaty of Ryswick gave for
sometime but an imperfect peace to the colonies. Inroads of Indians
were frequent and sudden. Never had the councils of war been more
active or more constantly in session, and never had the men who were
fit for service been more constantly under arms. Scouting parties of
ten men were sent out every two days to serve beyond the limits of
the plantations. Such were the trials of the second generation of

The violation of the acts of trade and lax dealing with privateers
became so flagrant that the home government after many vain complaints
resolved to establish courts of admiralty in all the colonies. The
attorney-general was consulted and said there was nothing in their
charters to prevent it. The colonial agents, exerted themselves
earnestly to ward off the blow, but without success, and when the Rhode
Island agent, Jahleel Brenton, returned in December, 1697-8, he brought
a commission to Peleg Sandford as Judge, and to Nathaniel Coddington as
Register. Governor Clarke opposed it and tried to induce the Assembly
to join in the opposition. Brenton advised that he should be impeached,
whereupon Clarke resigned in favor of his nephew, Samuel Cranston.

The Colony was entering upon a new period of trial and danger. The
enemies of her chartered rights were numerous and powerful, and
unhappily for her were supported in their charges by a dangerous
array of specious evidence. The rival interests were represented by
men admirably fitted for their respective tasks. The Royal Governor of
Massachusetts, Lord Bellemont, a man of singular ability and strength
of character, represented the party that would have made New England a
vice-royalty. Cranston, firm, resolute and self-possessed, held that
Rhode Island under the protection of her charter had fully proved her
capacity for self-government.

The great interest at stake was the interest of trade. Domestic trade
was fostered and protected. Peddling was prohibited as injurious to
regular traffic. Pains were taken to secure uniformity of weights and
measures. In all this no power was assumed which the spirit if not the
letter of the charter did not fully grant. But the act of navigation
had raised up an enemy to foreign trade which in time of war encouraged
privateering and in time of peace led to piracy. The treaty of Ryswick
left many hardy spirits afloat, greedy for gold and unscrupulous in
their pursuit of it.

The American coast offered great facilities for smuggling, and it was
only as smugglers that pirates or privateersmen could convert their
prizes into money. Much of this money it is said was buried in retired
nooks of the inlets and bays along the coast. The royal revenues
suffered greatly by this illicit trade, and the royal agents accused
the colonists of openly favoring it. "The people of New York," wrote
Lord Bellemont to the Board of Trade, "have such an appetite for
piracy and unlawful trade that they are ready to rebel as often as the
government puts the law in execution against them." Rhode Island was
held to be a favorite resort of these bold adventurers. Both Cranston
her Governor, and John Greene her Deputy-Governor were accused of
favoring them. Greene, who had been elected ten years in succession,
was dropped in 1700, but Cranston was reëlected from year to year,
thirty years in succession.

Meanwhile Bellemont, whose hostility was embittered by the instigations
of Randolph, went on collecting document upon document, till the
formidable list amounted to twenty-five heads of accusation--chief of
which was connivance with pirates--and, as he wrote to the Board of
Trade, "making Rhode Island their sanctuary." Should the Board of Trade
accept these accusations, what could preserve the Colony from a quo
warranto? Nothing did save her but the death of the Royal Governor.

To this period belongs the story of Captain Kidd, long the subject of
many a fearful tradition and all the more widely known from having
exchanged an admiral's flag for the black flag of the corsair. After
a wild and adventurous career in the Indian ocean he came to the
American coast, and showing himself boldly in the streets of Boston was
arrested, sent to England for trial and hanged.

                              CHAPTER XVI.


If we may judge the prosperity of the Colony by the increase of
taxation--and taxes it must be remembered were self-imposed--we shall
find that Rhode Island at the beginning of the new century had made
real if not rapid progress in all the branches of national prosperity.
Her population in 1702 was estimated at ten thousand, exclusive of
Indians. She drew supplies from foreign ports in bottoms of her own,
and raised the staples of life on her own farms. Her citizens were
merchants, farmers, fishermen and sailors. There was a beginning, also,
of manufactures--to the sore displeasure of the Board of Trade.

We perceive, also, by the same test that Providence had regained the
relative position which she had lost during Philip's war, and was once
more the second town of the Colony.

The soul liberty of which I have spoken so often had borne rich
fruits. Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Puritans
and Sabbatarians had their respective places of worship and their
independent pastors. Among the Baptist pastors we find John Clarke.
Among the Congregationalists Samuel Niles, a native of Block Island,
and the first Rhode Islander that graduated at Harvard. In 1704 the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts sent out
James Honeyman to build up an Episcopal church in the southern part of
the Colony. He found much to do as rector of Trinity, in Newport, and
missionary to Freetown, Tiverton and Little Compton on the main. His
memory is still preserved in Episcopal traditions and Honeyman's Hill,
the highest land in the southern extremity of the island, is a familiar
name to the inhabitants of Newport. In 1706 an Episcopal society was
founded in Kingston, with Rev. Christopher Bridge for rector. So well
was the work on the church done, that after remaining where it was
built ninety-three years, it was removed to Wickford, where it is
still used under the name of the Church of St. Paul. One of the most
interesting of these denominations was that of the Sabbatarians, or
Seventh-day Baptists, who had also a flourishing church in Westerly. To
meet their peculiar views two weekly market days were, set apart for

The meetings and acts of the Assembly still continue to form the
principal record of our history. The Assembly itself claimed equal
rights with those exercised by Parliament over its own members, and
at a special session in 1701, suspended an assistant who had married
a couple illegally and refused to acknowledge his error. The Board
of Trade had more than once called for a printed copy of the laws
of the Colony, and as a proof that they were regularly administered
Governor Cranston sent a full statement of the mode of procedure in
all the courts. I have already spoken of Lord Bellemont's plan for the
formation of a great vice-royalty over all the colonies, including the
Bahama Islands. After his death this wild scheme, fatal to the freedom
and prosperity of British America, was revived by Dudley. The irregular
administration of the navigation laws was the chief pretext, and it
probably was held to be a sufficient concession to freedom that the
local government was left in the hands of the colonial assemblies. A
bill for this purpose was drawn up near the close of William's reign
and brought forward early in that of Anne.

But the rights of the colonies were boldly and ably defended by Sir
Henry Ashurst, the agent of Connecticut, and the fatal bill rejected
after a full discussion. Dudley himself, however, was in high favor.
He was appointed Governor and Vice-Admiral of Massachusetts and New
Hampshire, and what was still more objectionable Vice-Admiral of
Rhode Island and King's Province, a fruitful source of jealousies and

Meanwhile the Assembly went on in its work of legislation, taking
advantage of its experience to correct old errors, and gradually
adapting the laws to the increasing wants of society. At the May
session of 1701 we find justices of the peace first mentioned in
connection with a general election. Thirteen were then appointed. In
the same session a resolution for the reörganization of the militia
law was again brought forward and the law of marriage revised and made
more stringent. New powers were given the governor for enforcing the
navigation act. Progress had been made towards a correct estimate of
the obligations of society to its officers. The governor's salary was
raised to forty pounds--a sum much increased during the year by special
gratuities. The recorder was forbidden to practice at the bar except
in cases which concerned himself or the town or Colony. Protection
against vagrants was sought in a rigid vagrant act, extending to comers
from other colonies, deserters from the King's service and "passengers
brought in by sea and landed without consent of the authorities."

The short lived treaty of Ryswick was broken, and in the May session
of 1702 preparations were made for the defence of Newport harbor by
building a fort on Goat Island. In the town itself a battery was
erected near the ground now occupied by the Union Bank. The funds for
these defences were to be drawn from "forfeitures to the treasury and
the gold plate and money taken from convicted pirates." The pay of the
garrison at the fort was fixed at twelve pounds a year, with rations.
Scouts, that essential element of every good army, but especially
necessary where the enemy were part Indians, received three shillings
a day while in active service. The spirit of adventure was awakened.
Captain William Wanton, of Portsmouth, took out a commission as
privateersman and brought in several valuable prizes.

In September Dudley undertook to take command of the Rhode Island
troops--about two thousand men in all, and coming to Newport directed
that they should be called out in his name. The calm but firm
resistance of Governor Cranston and Major Martindale thwarted his
usurpation, and he left the town in disgust.

In 1703 the long boundary line contest between Rhode Island and
Connecticut was brought to a close, and Rhode Island confirmed in
the jurisdiction over Narragansett which had been assigned to her in
the arbitration of Clarke and Winthrop. Much of this was owing to
the staunch loyalty of the men of Westerly, where its good effects
were immediately felt. Yet so little were the true interests of the
colonies understood by their transatlantic rulers, that it was not till
twenty-three years later that the decision of the Commissioners was
formally approved by the King.

This failure to comprehend the character and interest of the colonies
showed itself in various ways, but in none more offensively than in the
attempt of the Board of Trade to make Dudley Governor of Rhode Island
by royal appointment. But fortunately for Rhode Island, the powerful
William Penn had been enlisted on her side, and the Queen's Council
refused to accept the recommendation of the Board of Trade.

Another question which menaced serious danger to the Colony by placing
it in a false position towards the mother country arose from the war.
How far was she bound to send troops to the support of her sister
colonies? Dudley claimed them for the defence of the Massachusetts
frontier, Lord Cornberry for that of New York. Rhode Island pointed to
her long water front, broken by bays and coves and constantly exposed
to the fleets and privateers of the enemy, and claimed that she needed
her men for her own protection. As a proof, however, of her willingness
to do all that could justly be asked of her, she appealed to her past
conduct and to the fact that during the last seven years she had spent
nearly a thousand pounds a year for military purposes.

The war bore hardly upon the resources of the Colony. A French fleet
was expected on the coast. Scouts were constantly on the look-out.
Block Island was garrisoned. The fleet did not come, but one incident
occurred which, though upon a small scale, brought out in strong colors
the maritime spirit of the Colony. A French privateer in a cruise off
Block Island took a sloop laden with provisions. The news reached the
Governor the next day. In two hours two sloops, manned by one hundred
and twenty volunteers, and commanded by Captain John Wanton, were on
their way in pursuit of the enemy, and in less than three hours more
took her, recaptured her prize and brought both safe into Newport.

The current of our history still continues to flow in a narrow channel.
Each new session of the Assembly added to the body of the laws and
met new wants. Newport had no charter. One was granted her by special
statute. The other towns held theirs by grants of the Assembly. The
subject of a court of chancery began to attract attention in 1705,
but was held to be premature, and its duties were still left for the
present with the Assembly.

Boundary questions still continued to occupy the Assembly and annoy the
inhabitants of the border. The northern boundary brought Rhode Island
into direct collision with Massachusetts, which was now the heiress
of the claims of Plymouth. Commissioners were appointed who made no
report, and it was only by slow steps that the Colony assumed its
permanent form and dimensions.

Among the laws which were brought every day to every door was the law
which made the price of wheat the standard of the price of bread. Every
baker was required to have his trade mark and make every loaf of a
specified weight. The bread that fell short was forfeited to the poor.

As an aid to commerce the Colony granted the control of the shores of
all the waters comprised within a township to the town itself. This led
to the building of wharves and store houses, and added to the wealth of
the town.

In the midst of the progressing civilization we find occasional traces
of barbarism. A slave had murdered his mistress with circumstances
which aggravated the crime, and despairing of escape drowned himself.
A fortnight after his body came ashore at Little Compton, and "the
Assembly ordered that his head, legs and arms should be hung up in some
public place near Newport, and his body be burnt to ashes."

We now meet the odious slave-trade, carefully watched over and
protected by England as a source of wealth, but generally disliked
by planters for "the turbulent and unruly tempers" of its miserable
victims. Rhode Island drew most of her slaves from Barbadoes at the
rate of twenty or thirty a year, and sold them at the average price of
from thirty to forty pounds each. The moral question had not yet come
up, but according to the old record the trade did not flourish because
the people "in general" preferred white servants to black.

In 1708 the first census was taken by order of the Board of Trade,
giving for result seven thousand one hundred and eighty-one
inhabitants, of whom one thousand and fifteen were freemen. The militia
amounted to one thousand three hundred and sixty-two. There were
fifty-six white servants and four hundred and twenty-six black.

In the same year we meet for the first time, "vendue masters" and
public auctions. The subject of "a uniform value for foreign coins
in the colonies" was discussed in Parliament, and made the subject
of a circular letter from the Board of Trade. The increase of the
settlements made it necessary to provide for the Indians. A committee
was appointed to confer with Ninigret about lands for his tribe, the
Niantics, and choose the site of a new town in Narragansett.

I have already spoken of the judicial functions of the Assembly. They
had increased so much that it was deemed necessary to impose a tax of
two pounds upon every appellant before his case could be taken up.

The reports to the Board of Trade and the commutation table of taxation
throw much light upon the commercial and agricultural progress of the
Colony. In the commutation roll Indian coin was rated at "two shillings
a bushel, barley at one and eightpence, rye at two and sixpence, oats
at fourteen pence, wheat at three shillings, and wool at ninepence a
pound." From the statistical reports to the Board of Trade, we learn
that the annual "exports sent to England by way of Boston amounted to
twenty thousand pounds; that the principal direct trade was by the West
Indies; and that within the past twenty years the amount of shipping
had increased six-fold." This increase it was said was owing to the
superiority of the colonial shipwrights.

Eighty-four vessels of all sizes had been built in the Colony within
eleven years. The population was divided. Aquidneck "was taken up in
small farms," and the young men took to the sea.

In 1709 a printing press was set up in Newport and a public printer
appointed. This pioneer printer was the son of a New York printer named
Bradford, who offered to do the public printing of the Colony for fifty
pounds a year. The offer was accepted for one year.

The war dragged heavily on, eating into the resources of the Colony and
driving her to that most fatal of all expedients, the issue of paper
money. A great expedition against Canada was planned, and failed. Rhode
Island, which had been very active in raising men and supplies and had
taxed herself liberally, shared the common disappointment.

The next attempt was more successful. A fleet of twelve ships of war
and twenty-four transports sailed from Nantasket roads on the 18th
of September, reached Port Royal in six days and took it after a
short siege. The colonists were very happy. The name of Port Royal
was changed to Annapolis, the city of Anna. The martial spirit of the
colonies was roused and in the following year, 1711, they eagerly
entered into the plans of the English ministry for the invasion of
Canada. But although the greatest exertions were made the expedition

Meanwhile the Assembly still continued its labor of legislation. The
Court of Trials adopted the course which had been established two
years before by the Court of Appeals, and began to charge a fee before
entering a case upon the docket. Education was a subject of legislative
interest. In Newport the public school was placed in charge of the
town council, and provision made for opening a Latin school under
Mr. Galloway. Various other minor incidents show the progress of the
Colony. Public highways were a subject of general attention in Newport.
Providence, which lay on the bank of a navigable river, was more
directly interested in bridges. Names were given to the streets and
alleys, and, as an element in the growth of the Colony, it may not be
uninteresting to know that the first town crier was appointed in 1711.
As an encouragement to commerce all "river craft trading as far as
Connecticut" were exempted from custom dues, and no fees were exacted
for free goods. The profits of the navigation act, as has already been
stated, had been seriously affected by clandestine traders. To guard
against this evil a law was passed requiring "all persons resident for
three months in the Colony and intending to leave, to advertise their
intention ten days before hand, so that their creditors might have due

                             CHAPTER XVII.


The treaty of Utrecht gave peace to England and her dependencies,
leaving them free to follow out the peaceful development of commerce
and manufactures. War had brought on paper money, which was first
issued to meet the expenses of the second expedition against Port
Royal. This first issue was of five thousand pounds in bills of from
five pounds to two shillings, equal in value as far as legislation
could make them so, "to current silver of New England, eight shillings
to the ounce. They were to be received in all payments due the
treasury, to be redeemed in specie at the end of five years," and
meanwhile were secured by an "annual tax of a thousand pounds." To
counterfeit or deface them was felony. Further issues of eight thousand
pounds were made by the end of the war, and secured by new taxes. Thus
was opened the great gulf which was to swallow the fruits of much
laborious industry.

The Assembly made another step towards its present form by electing a
clerk outside the house. The pay of this first clerk was six shillings
a day.

The military stores which had been collected during the war were
divided into two classes. Those of a perishable nature were sold. The
rest were carefully stored away to be ready for the chances of another
war. "The cannon were tarred and laid on logs on the governor's wharf."
The garrison of Fort Anne was dismissed. The labors of peace began.
Increased attention was given to public highways. The old road which
ran through the Colony from Pawtucket to Pawcatuck was repaired, and a
new one opened to Plainfield through Warwick and West Greenwich. But in
this the enterprise of the Colony outran its wants, and the new road
was soon abandoned.

As we follow the sessions of the Assembly we find acts for the
repression of litigation renewed three times in five years. The
provision of the charter by which commissioned militia officers were
to be elected by the Assembly had been neglected for more than a
generation, and the elections made by the towns. While the population
was small and most of the inhabitants freemen this mode of election
proved good. But with the increase of population disputes and
difficulties arose, and in 1713 a new law was passed in accordance with
the provisions of the charter. But after a short trial and in spite
of the protest of the governor and four assistants, the old law was

One of the difficult questions of legislation came before the Assembly
of 1713. Merchants had exported grain too freely and the home market
began to feel the drain. The Assembly interfered, and not only forbade
further exportation but set a tariff of prices for the markets of the
Colony. An account of the stock of provisions in Newport was taken. The
price of wheat was ten shillings and sixpence a bushel, of rye five
shillings, of corn and barley four shillings, and of flour and biscuit
thirty shillings a hundred.

Among the laws of trade which were passed at this time was a stringent
law against peddlers, prohibiting them from selling dry goods under
heavy penalties. But the apple of discord which divided the whole
community was paper money. All New England was disturbed by it. In
Massachusetts there were three parties, each very bitter against
the other. Smallest of the three was the hard money party, which
insisted upon withdrawing the bills of credit and putting all business
transactions upon a metallic basis. The other two were in favor of
banks, but of banks founded upon very different principles. One
advocating a private, the other a public bank system. By the former
bills of credit secured upon real estate were to be issued by the
company and received by its members as money, but without any fixed
relation to gold and silver. The other advocated a public bank, with
bills to be loaned by government on mortgage of real estate and
paying an annual interest for the support of government. Each party
represented a distinct class. The hard money party was composed of men
for the most part free from debt and ready to pay their way in cash.
The private bank party were owners of real estate who were unable to
use it to advantage for meeting their engagements. The hard money party
after a severe struggle coalesced with these, and a "bank or loan of
fifty thousand pounds" was established for five years.

In Rhode Island there were but two parties--the hard money party and
the paper money party. The struggle was long and bitter, and ended by
the adoption of the public bank system of Massachusetts. The contest
was felt in the elections, each party striving to secure an Assembly
favorable to itself. In the May election of 1714 "the specie party
triumphed." Twenty-two deputies out of twenty-eight lost their seats.
An act had been passed requiring the treasurer to burn two thousand
bills of credit. He disobeyed and lost his place. Bills to the amount
of one thousand one hundred and two pounds eight shillings and sixpence
were collected and burnt.

In the new election the paper money question still agitated the public
mind. Only five out of the old members were returned to the Assembly.
Of the assistants only one. Joseph Jenckes was chosen Deputy-Governor
in the place of Henry Tew. So complete was the change that it was
called "the great revolution." Yet amid all these changes Governor
Cranston held his place.

The death of Queen Anne and accession of George I. excited little
attention in the colonies. South Carolina was suffering from the
Yemassee war, which brought new emigrants to Rhode Island, and among
them some females of Huguenot origin who had their Indian slaves with
them. Their coming seems to have been acceptable, for the Assembly upon
petition remitted to them the importation tax. The population was not
yet sufficient to protect farmers from wolves and foxes. The old bounty
was increased, and rewards were offered by Portsmouth for blackbirds
and crows, and by Providence for gray squirrels and rats. A few years
later still higher bounties were offered for wild-cats and bears.

The great public question was still the question of the bank, and we
have already seen that the form adopted was that of public banks. In
the July session of 1715 a bank or loan of thirty thousand pounds was
established, which in a later session was raised to forty thousand.
"Bills from five pounds to one shilling were issued and proportioned
among the towns." Whoever could give good mortgage security could
claim a loan. But the interest instead of being secured by bond and
mortgage was secured by bond alone, and thus the greater part of it
was eventually lost, a very serious defect in the system, for it was
from this interest that the bills were to be redeemed and the expenses
of government paid. We shall meet this subject again, but never in a
pleasant form.

It is interesting to see by what devices the increasing wants of the
Colony was met. Newport had wants of her own as "the metropolitan town
of the Colony." The street leading to the Colony House needed paving,
and to meet the expenses a grant was made of funds drawn from the duty
on imported slaves. Other streets were paved and a bridge built over
Potowomut River by funds drawn from the same source.

The criminal code also, grows with the Colony. Fraudulent voting is
punished with fine, whipping or imprisonment. To facilitate detection
every voter was required to endorse his name in full on his ballot.
A large proportion of the crimes in the Colony were committed by
Indian slaves. The fear of punishment was an insufficient protection
against this class of criminals, and a law was passed prohibiting their
introduction into the Colony.

We have seen that Newport and Providence made early provision for
schools. Portsmouth followed their example, and "having considered
how excellent an ornament learning is to mankind," made in 1716
an appropriation for building a school-house. The experiment was
successful, and six years later two others were built--one of them
sixteen feet square, the other thirty by twenty-five.

It is deserving of remark that in this young society slander was
not suffered to go unpunished. A Gabriel Bernon had brought a false
accusation against one of the assistants. He was compelled to make "a
written acknowledgment to the injured party," and ask pardon in writing
of the Assembly which he had treated with disrespect on his examination.

The condition of the Indians called for legislative interference. On
the petition of Ninigret their lands were taken under the protection
of the Colony, and overseers appointed to lease them for the benefit
of the tribe and remove trespassers. The following year an attempt was
made to enforce temperance among them by increasing the difficulty of
their obtaining liquor on credit.

The militia law was revised from time to time and various changes
introduced. In that of 1718 the governor was styled "Captain-General
and Commander-in-Chief," and the deputy-governor "Lieutenant-General."

It will be remembered that colonial laws were required to conform
as far as possible to English laws. The colonial legislatures put a
large interpretation upon this provision, and in providing for the
estates of intestates modified materially the law of primogeniture.
The eldest son, instead of the whole estate, received only a double
share--one-third being given to the widow and the remainder divided
among the children.

The Board of Trade had repeatedly called for a complete copy of the
laws, and the Assembly had appointed more than one committee to revise
and print them. It was not, however, till 1719 that the work was taken
seriously in hand. That it should have been printed in Boston shows how
old prejudices were passing away. This first edition was distributed
among the towns and the Assembly.

Boundary questions revive from time to time. The northern boundary gave
rise to bitter discussions, and though often on the point of being
decided, was not really brought to a decision for several years. The
western boundary, also, had been practically decided in favor of Rhode
Island. But this question, too, was reöpened, and the uncertainties and
inconveniences which such disputes engender idly prolonged to the sore
annoyance of the inhabitants of the border. How imperfectly the serious
nature of the question was understood in England may be seen by the
proposition of the Privy Council that both Rhode Island and Connecticut
should surrender their charters and be annexed to New Hampshire. It was
not till 1727 that Westerly knew whether she belonged to Connecticut or
to Rhode Island.

Protection begins about this time to manifest itself as essential
to the success of domestic industry. Acts also were passed for the
protection of river fisheries. The manufacture of nails and hemp
duck were encouraged--nails by a loan and duck by a bounty. With
the increase of population new guarantees were required to secure
purity of suffrage. In the winter of 1724 the freehold act was passed
"requiring a freehold qualification of the value of one hundred pounds,
or an annual income of two pounds derived from real estate to enable
any man to become a freeman." With modification of detail but none of
principle, this law held its place on the statute book for a hundred
and twenty years. "Freemen of the towns who were not freemen of the
Colony were allowed to vote for deputies."

In 1721 a new bank or loan for forty thousand pounds was established
upon the same principle as the first. Hemp and flax were received
in payment of interest. Specie had become so scarce that an English
half-penny passed for three half-pence, and it was soon manifest that
the introduction of paper money had raised prices and encouraged
speculation in land.

But nothing occurred to break the monotony of colonial life so
important as the capture in 1723 of a pirate schooner and the trial
of her crew by a court of admiralty. Twenty-six of the prisoners were
condemned to death, hanged at Gravelly or Bull's Point, and buried on
Goat Island between high and low water mark.

One of the important events of 1722-3, and which must be considered as
a favorable indication of the increase of population was the division
of Kingston into two towns. In 1724 the failure of the crops led
again to the prohibition of the exportation of grain. Two thousand
bushels of Indian corn were bought on public account and sold to the
people at low prices. In Newport no one was allowed to have more than
four bushels at a time--in the other towns not more than eight. The
temperance question, also, began to attract attention at an early
day, and various efforts were made to check drunkenness. Among them
was an act prohibiting the selling of liquor to common drunkards, and
to ensure the carrying out of the act town councils were required
to post in their own and the neighboring towns those who came under
it. In nothing, however, was the progress of the Colony more evident
than in the growth of the religious sentiments. The soul liberty of
its founder had been mistaken for license. Towards the close of the
seventeenth century Cotton Mather had written: "Rhode Island is a
colluvies of Antinomians, Familists, Anabaptists, Anti-Sabbatarians,
Arminians, Socinians, Quakers, Ranters, everything in the world but
Roman Catholics and true Christians." A quarter of a century later he
wrote: "Calvinists with Lutherans, Presbyterians with Episcopalians,
Pedobaptists with Anabaptists, beholding one another to fear God and
work righteousness, do with delight sit down together at the same table
of the Lord." In strict accordance with the fundamental principle of
the Colony the pay of the clergy was made by voluntary contribution of
their parishioners.

We have recorded the deaths of Williams and Clarke. In April, 1727,
Governor Samuel Cranston followed them to the grave, leaving no public
man so universally loved behind.

It is a proof of the progress of the Colony that vagrants and "mad
persons" began to be provided for by law. Among the laws adopted from
England at this period was the act of limitations for personal actions.

                             CHAPTER XVIII.


Nearly a generation had passed since a new governor had been chosen,
but the place made vacant by death was now to be filled. The choice
fell upon Joseph Jenckes, (May, 1727.) He was a resident of Pawtucket,
and in those days of irregular communication Pawtucket was too far from
the seat of government for the prompt transaction of public business.
It was voted, therefore, that it was "highly necessary for the Governor
of this Colony to live at Newport, the metropolis of the government,"
and a hundred pounds was appropriated for the expense of his removal.
While the Colony was passing into the hands of a new executive a
similar change was taking place in the mother country. George I. died
suddenly, and George II. succeeded to the throne.

But the change of sovereign brought no change with it in the policy of
the mother country. The act of navigation was still the rule by which
she measured her relations to the colonies. They were still to supply
the raw material and she the profitable manufacture.

The first eight years of George II.'s reign were years of peace. Party
spirit in England ran high under the names of court and country, the
first as supporters of the ministry, the second of parliamentary
opposition. But Sir Robert Walpole did not love war, and in the cabinet
his voice was supreme.

In the Colony we find the same indications of growth and development.
The records of the Assembly are still our principal guide. The criminal
code, the surest indication of the moral condition of the community,
was revised. Intemperance, in spite of repeated attempts to suppress it
by legislation still seems to prevail, and in 1728 a new license law
was passed. Unforeseen crimes, also, sometimes call for special action.
An Indian lad attempted to kill his master, a crime unforeseen in the
code, and was branded on the forehead with the letter R., whipped at
the cart tail at every street corner in Newport, and ordered to be sold
out of the Colony for his unexpired term. A slanderous pamphlet was
publicly burned by the town sergeant in front of the Colony House and
the author compelled to make a written confession of his fault.

The unsettled boundary lines though still causes of uneasiness and
vexatious delays, are gradually approaching final decision. The
controversy concerning the western boundary had lasted sixty-five
years. More effectual means are employed to enforce the registry of
births, marriages and deaths. Peddlers, the field of whose industry
had already been reduced by previous statutes, were forbidden to sell
any kind of goods under pain of forfeiture. Early attention is paid to
the preservation of deer and the protection of fish. The planting of
hemp and flax, and the manufacture of duck are again the subject of
legislation, and receive increased bounties. James Franklin sets up a
printing press in Newport after having failed to establish a newspaper
in Boston. Not discouraged by his failure, he made a similar attempt at
Newport with a similar result. He was in advance of his time. Important
laws were enacted for the encouragement and regulation of trade.
Special officers were appointed for special departments. Lumber of
every kind was placed under the protection of surveyors. Packed meats
and fish were examined by viewers. Casks were measured by official
surveyors. The whale and cod fisheries were encouraged by bounties.
And to incite the efforts of honest but unfortunate men, bankrupt laws
equally useful to creditor and debtor were established.

Roads and bridges continue to call for legislation. The Pawtuxet bridge
had fallen to decay, and Rhode Island and Massachusetts united, first
in pulling it down and soon after in building it up again. A new ferry
was established between Portsmouth and Bristol. Lands in Westerly were
set apart for an Indian house of worship.

The fortifications of the Colony were not neglected. "A regular and
beautiful fortification of stone" was built at Newport and the new King
petitioned to give forty cannon for its armament.

The records of the time tell of an earthquake which in October, 1727,
was felt through New England, exciting much alarm but doing little
damage--far less indeed than the attempt to build up commerce upon
public loans and paper money. To this period also belongs the first
appearance of the Palatine Light, a curious electric phenomenon
according to some, produced according to others by hydrogeneous gas,
but believed by local superstition to be the phantom of a wrecked
emigrant ship whose passengers had fallen prey to the avarice of her
captain and crew.

The Legislature continues its labor of law-making, and among its
provisions is one prohibiting the manumission of slaves without bonds
from the owner to prevent them from coming upon the town. Another
act sets bounds to the authority of moderators in town meetings, and
requires that any motion supported by seven freeholders shall be put to
vote. Another requires that all money questions shall be announced in
the call for the meeting.

Among public annoyances we find Indian dances especially mentioned and
the regulation of them referred to the town councils, and the selling
or giving of intoxicating drinks upon the dancing ground strictly

To meet the growth of the Colony a new division of it into three
counties was made, and the judicial system altered to meet the change.
"Each county was to have its court house and jail." The responsibility
of public officers increases with the increase of the Colony in wealth.
The public treasurer was required to give bonds to the amount of twenty
thousand pounds and his salary raised first to one, and two years later
to two hundred pounds. A distrust of lawyers found expression in the
October session of 1729 in an act forbidding them to serve as deputies.
At the next session it was repealed and though never reënacted was more
than once brought up for discussion.

Among the eminent Englishmen of the first half of this century was
George Berkeley, Dean of Derry, better known by his later title of
Bishop of Cloyne, and still better by Pope's line:

                "To Berkeley every virtue under Heaven."

He had taken high rank among the philosophers of his age by his new
theory of vision and other writings in which he denied the existence of
matter. Advancement in the church made him master of a large income,
which he resolved to employ in the service of religion by founding a
college in the Bermudas for the training of pastors for the colonial
churches and missionaries to the Indians. The benevolent object
failed through the failure of Lord Carteret to give him the aid of
government. Instead, therefore, of establishing himself in Bermuda, he
purchased a farm near Newport and built a house on it, which is still
known by the name of Whitehall. He brought with him a choice library, a
collection of pictures and a corps of literary men and artists, among
them the painter Smibert, who thus became the teacher of Copley and

The influence of such a man is quickly felt in a young community,
and Berkeley soon gathered around him a body of cultivated men, who
joined with him in the discussion of questions of philosophy and the
collection of books. These books became the basis of the Redwood
Library. Not far from his house among what the modern tourist knows
as the hanging rocks is a natural alcove, which opening to the south
and roofed with stone commands an extensive view of the ocean. Here,
tradition says, Berkeley wrote his Alciphron or Minute Philosopher,
which was printed in Newport by James Franklin. But Berkeley had lived
too long among men of letters and in large cities to be contented with
the limited resources of a colonial town, and after a residence in
Newport of two years and a half, he returned to Europe and a broader
field of usefulness and honor. His library of eight hundred and eighty
volumes he left to Yale. Brown University was not yet established.

Legislation begins to take notice of charitable institutions. Attention
had already been called to the condition of the insane, and now a
fund was formed for the relief of disabled sailors and their families
by deducting sixpence a month from the wages of every seaman in active
service. This money was paid over to the town in which he lived and
which was bound to support him.

The respect for the rights of conscience which forms the fundamental
principle of the colonial polity, still meets us from time to time in
some new application. In 1730 the militia law was modified for the
protection of the Quakers. Provision was also made for the protection
of the Indians by an act requiring the assent of two justices of the
peace to give validity to any bond of apprenticeship in which they were

In 1730 the Board of Trade called for a census. The population was
found to have increased six thousand in ten years--numbering fifteen
thousand three hundred whites, sixteen hundred and fifty blacks, and
nine hundred and eighty Indians--nearly eighteen thousand in all,
almost equally divided between the three counties. Of these eighteen
thousand nearly nine hundred were enrolled in the militia. Providence
was divided into four towns.

The question of paper money still excited the Colony. Governor Jenckes
was against it, but it was upheld by a majority of the Assembly. By
September, 1731, one hundred and ninety-five thousand three hundred
pounds had been issued in bills of credit, of which one hundred and
twenty thousand pounds were still outstanding. Silver had risen
from eight to twenty shillings an ounce. Yet such was the general
infatuation that in this very year a new bank was voted of sixty
thousand pounds.

Yet trade increased and the Colony prospered. The shipping had risen
in ten years from thirty-five hundred tons to five thousand, manned
by four hundred men. Boston was the principal mart for supplies,
but two ships came annually from England, two from Holland and the
Mediterranean, and ten or twelve from the West Indies. The exports
which comprised live stock, logwood, lumber, fish and the products
of the field and dairy, amounted to ten thousand pounds a year. The
ordinary expenses of the government amounted to two thousand, the
extraordinary to twenty-five hundred pounds a year, colonial currency.

The paper money controversy had raised a question as to the governor's
power of veto. The law officers of the crown were consulted by the
Board of Trade and declared that he had none. They decided also that
the King himself had none.

The publication of the laws had met a public want. The first edition
was soon exhausted and a new one called for. For many years small pains
were taken to secure accuracy in the text, the preparation of it being
left to the clerk. A wide door was thus left open for interpolation,
and it was through this door that the clause against Roman Catholics,
so contrary to the spirit and policy of the Colony crept into the
statute--to be silently dropped as soon as attention was called to it.

We have already seen that provision had been made for the defence
of the Colony by building a fort in Newport harbor. Additional
provisions were made at the October session of 1732, by imposing a
duty of sixpence a ton upon all vessels that entered the harbor except
fishermen. We have already seen that several attempts had been made for
the suppression of intemperance, and apparently with little success. In
1732 another moral principle was made the subject of legislation, and
"these unlawful games called lotteries" suppressed by statute. We shall
soon find them legalized and in some instances doing the office of
insurance companies. A more legitimate source of gain was found in the
whale fishery, which was successfully encouraged by a premium. Whales
were often taken in Narragansett Bay. But the first regular whaler that
entered Newport harbor was owned by Benjamin Thurston, and brought a
hundred and fourteen barrels of oil and two hundred pounds of bone.

It was not till many trials had been made that a satisfactory
regulation of the tenure of office was reached. On revising the
statutes good behavior was made the term of tenure for the judges and
clerks of common pleas. But the democratic element was too strong
to allow this prolongation to gain a footing of authority, and a
semi-annual election was soon substituted to the more conservative
system. The deputies had been chosen semi-annually. In 1733 this also
was changed to the whole year, but after a short trial changed back
again to the half year. The first printed schedules were distributed in
the summer of 1733. The October sessions were to be held alternately
at Providence and South Kingstown. The certificates of election were
carefully scrutinized and irregular proxies rejected. In 1734 the House
consisted of thirty-six deputies, ten assistants and three general
officers, a secretary, attorney and treasurer.

We have seen that vessels engaged in fishing were exempted from the
harbor duty. As a further encouragement the first year's interest on
the new loan was set apart for building a pier or harbor on Block
Island. Westerly harbor was repaired. The river fisheries also came
in for their share of protection, and dams or weirs were prohibited
and no fishing except by hook and line permitted during three days
in the week. The first session of the Assembly at East Greenwich was
distinguished by an act for the preservation of oysters, which the
thoughtless inhabitants were burning in large quantities for lime.
Important acts were passed for the regulation of mills. An attempt to
cut through the beach on Block Island failed, and the old pier was

The close of Governor Jenckes's term of office was embarrassed by
disputes arising from the paper money controversy. He declined a
reëlection, and William Wanton, brother of the Deputy, was chosen in
his stead. This was the only instance of brothers holding the two
principal offices of the Colony at the same time. The dispute between
Massachusetts and Rhode Island was referred to Commissioners from
New York and Connecticut. No decision was reached, but the Assembly
in acknowledgment of their services voted them three silver tankards
of the value of fifty pounds each, with "the arms of Rhode Island
handsomely engraved on them."

We have seen that Massachusetts like Rhode Island had sought a
temporary relief in the issue of paper money. The King interfered and
the Massachusetts bills were withdrawn. This was a severe blow to
Rhode Island, and hardly a less one to the tradesmen of Boston, whose
relations with Rhode Island were very intimate. Various devices were
recurred to for their protection, among them a combination to refuse
to take Rhode Island bills in payment for goods. But the necessities
of trade were too great. The combination gave way. Silver rose to
twenty-seven shillings an ounce. Debts were paid at a loss to the
creditor of thirty-three per cent. The future looked very dark.

Attention was called to the security of marriage. Till 1733 none but
Quakers or clergymen of the Church of England could perform the
ceremony. In 1733 authority to perform it was extended by the Assembly
to clergymen of every denomination.

The death of Governor William Wanton, which occurred in 1733, produced
a deep sensation throughout the Colony, where he was greatly respected
for his civil and military services. Few colonists stood higher with
the King. On a visit to England with his brother John, he was presented
by the Queen with a silver punch-bowl and salver and permitted to add
a game-cock lighting on a hawk to his arms. On his death his brother,
John Wanton, the Deputy-Governor, was chosen to fill his place.

Education still forced its claims, and we find George Taylor
successfully petitioning for leave to open a school in a chamber of
the county house of Providence. Fifty years before the first school in
Providence had been taught by William Turpin--of whom, unfortunately,
we know only the name.

From time to time come questions from the Board of Trade showing how
carefully England watched over her revenues. In one the Colony was
asked what revenue duties were laid upon British commerce. The impost
on slaves brought from the West Indies had been removed by the King's
orders, and Governor Wanton could answer that there were no duties
affecting the direct commerce with England. Yet a consciousness of
rights appears in more than one act of the Assembly. The Court of
Vice-Admiralty sometimes exceeded its legitimate authority and tried
causes over which it had no jurisdiction. This was a delicate matter
for the colonial legislature to interfere in, for the court was
appointed by the King. But without heeding this the Assembly conferred
upon the Supreme Court the power of injunction.

The small-pox was a frequent cause of alarm. In 1735-6 another fearful
disease desolated New England. It was called the throat distemper, and
is described as "a swelled throat, with white or ash-colored specks,
an efflorescence on the skin, great debility of the whole system and a
strong tendency to putrefaction." No age was exempt from it, but it was
most fatal among children.

Roads and bridges as we have already seen had received early attention.
Communication between the different parts of the Colony increased with
the increase of population. In 1736 a line of stages with special
privileges for seven years was established between Newport and Boston.
The natural development of trade was preparing the way for a closer
union among the colonies. Increased attention was given to the duties
and privileges of citizenship. It is sad to find that laws against
bribery at elections were called for at an early day. By those of
1736 both briber and bribed were fined double the sum offered or
received and deprived for three years of the right to vote. Illegal
voting was forbidden under the penalty of a fine of two pounds and
disfranchisement for three years.

The kindly feeling which the colonists cherished for the mother country
sometimes received a practical illustration. In the spring of 1737 His
Majesty's ship Tartar lay in Newport harbor, and that she was a welcome
visitor the Assembly proved by ordering that "a score of the best sheep
that may be got be presented to her commander, Mathew Norris, for the
use of the crew." None foresaw that the day would come when a British
press gang would seize free citizens in this same harbor.

The expenses of local government increased. To provide for this
increase authority was given the towns to assess traders from abroad
for a fair proportion of the outlays of the town. Changes were also
made in the mode of paying jurors. Hitherto they had been paid out
of the treasury--a mode liable to abuses and attended with great
inconvenience. It was voted that they should receive a fixed pay of six
shillings a day and pay their own expenses. Public attention had been
called early to protection from fires. As the population of the larger
towns grew, better protection was required. In Newport two companies of
firemen were organized, and to compensate them for their services they
were exempted from serving on juries or in the militia.

                              CHAPTER XIX.


Events were preparing a closer union of the colonies. England declared
war against Spain--a war of commercial rivalry, for Spain was a
maritime power of the first class, and claimed the right of search.
England sent out her ships of war and privateers, and carried on a
lucrative contraband trade among the Spanish islands and on the Spanish
main. The colonies were called upon to furnish their part of men and
munitions of war. Rhode Island sent out privateers and prepared to
defend her harbors and coast. Fort George was put in fighting order
and a garrison of fifty two men stationed there under Colonel John
Cranston. New Shoreham was garrisoned and Block Island provided with
six heavy guns. For the protection of the coast and shores of the bay
seven watch-towers were erected and constant guard kept in them by
night and by day. Five beacons were stationed between Block Island and
Portsmouth to give warning of the first approach of danger, and the
Colony's war sloop, the Tartar, of a hundred and fifteen tons burthen
held in readiness for instant service. Newport merchants also entered
actively into the game and sent out in the second year of the war five
privateers manned by five hundred men.

A great expedition was preparing against the Spanish West Indies.
Rhode Island's contingent was two companies of a hundred men each.
The Newport company was commanded by Captain Joseph Sheffield, the
Providence company by Captain William Hopkins. The Colony was proud
of its work and feasted both officers and men before they set sail
to join the British squadron at New York and bear their part in the
disastrous attempt upon Carthagena. Meanwhile it had proved its mettle
by taking a French contraband schooner and carrying her into Newport
for adjudication.

Rhode Island was loyal, loving the king and accepting the supremacy of
Parliament. But she was quick to discriminate between usurpation, and
legal authority. The northern colonies carried on a lucrative commerce
with the West Indies and particularly with the French Islands. Upon
this trade England had imposed a heavy tax under the title of molasses
act and was preparing to increase it. The colonies protested. Newport
dealt largely in the distilling of rum and was thus a great consumer
of molasses. All looked alike to the trade with the islands for the
means of paying for their importations from the mother country. But
the objection did not stop here. Colonial development had reached the
underlying principle of the revolution. Parliament taxed Englishmen as
their representative. But by what right could an English Parliament tax

Richard Partridge, the colonial agent, and a Quaker in faith, acting
in the name of Rhode Island and other northern colonies, "strenuously
opposed" the new restrictions, and the Assembly requested the Governor
"to write to the neighboring governments, inviting them" to join in the
opposition. Thus concerted action and the right of self-taxation begin
to claim their legitimate place in colonial polity, and prepare the
way for independence. In the midst of these agitations Governor John
Wanton died. I have already spoken of him as of one of the great names
of colonial history and happy as few public men are in the recognition
of his deserts. He was elected Deputy-Governor five times in succession
and Governor seven. Deputy-Governor Richard Ward was chosen to fill his
place, and William Greene was promoted to the place of Deputy-Governor
made vacant by the promotion of Richard Ward. Henceforth these two
names become prominent in Rhode Island history.

Disease came with war. The small-pox broke out again. Portsmouth and
Jamestown were compelled to call on the Assembly for aid and Dutch
Island was used as quarantine ground. While the minds of the colonists
were thus prepared for thoughts of suffering and death, George
Whitefield came among them calling them to repentance and prayer.
Crowds gathered round him to listen to his burning words, and all New
England was filled with the fame of his eloquence. His disciples joined
the Baptists who increased greatly in numbers and influence. Samuel
Fothergill, also, the calm and persuasive Quaker, passed at this time
a half year in Newport in the house of his brother-in-law, John Proud,
and Quakerism throve under his gentle teaching as the Baptists throve
under the fervid exhortations of Whitefield.

The war continued. Spain against whom it had been first directed
formed an alliance with France, and the colonies were called upon for
new exertions. Ten more cannon were mounted in Fort George which was
enlarged to receive them. Ten new field-pieces were ordered. A brick
magazine was built for the safe keeping of powder and the supply of
military stores was increased in every county. To secure promptness
of action the Governor and Council together with the field officers
and captains were formed into a permanent council of war. By a former
act of the Assembly the men were allowed to choose their own officers.
This act was repealed and the right of choice vested in the Legislature
where the charter placed it. The drill system was incomplete. A more
thorough one was established and two more companies were raised in
Newport. In the midst of these warlike preparations the rights of
conscience were respected and those who were scrupulous about the
shedding of blood were employed as scouts and guards, or required to
furnish horses in case of sudden alarm, or do any other duty consistent
with their religious scruples.

The House of Commons ever watchful over the interests of British
commerce, began to look with suspicion on the frequent "emissions of
paper currency in His Majesty's colonies in America, in which Rhode
Island has too large a share." An address to the King was followed
by instructions to the colonial governors from the Board of Trade to
transmit to the home government "an account of the tenor and amount of
the bills of credit" issued by each colony, the times when they fell
due, the number actually outstanding and their value in "money of Great
Britain, both at the time such bills were issued and at the time of
preparing the account." The Governor's opinion was also required upon
the still more difficult subject of "sinking and discharging all such
bills of credit."

Governor Ward replied on the part of Rhode Island by an elaborate
history of the colonial currency and an able exposition of the causes
and necessities from which it arose. Unfortunately these necessities
still existed, and without heeding the warning implied by the action
of the House of Commons the Assembly "created a new bank of twenty
thousand pounds for ten years at four per cent." The paper issued
under this act was called the new tenor, because unlike the earlier
issues the bills bore on their faces the exact amount of gold and
silver they were supposed to represent. Silver on the new tenor notes
was rated at six shillings and ninepence sterling, gold at five pounds
an ounce, and thus the value of a new tenor bill was four times that of
an old tenor bill. The seeds of bankruptcy were thickly sown in both.

The question of the eastern boundary line, one of the bitterest of
the many disputes with Massachusetts, had after several vain attempts
to come to an amicable agreement, been referred, in 1741, to a royal
commission. With the decision of this commission neither party was
altogether satisfied, Massachusetts claiming a great deal and Rhode
Island something more than it awarded them. Both parties appealed.
But the commission adhered to its decision, and the line fixed by it
continued to be the boundary between the two colonies till after the
adoption of the Federal constitution.

                              CHAPTER XX.


War still continued to give its stern coloring to legislation. The
Tartar was held ready for instant service. The Governor and his council
were vested with the power of laying an embargo upon outward bound
vessels. Speculation turned seaward, and the money which in peace would
have been employed in building up commerce and manufactures was spent
upon privateers.

Still the interests of peace were not altogether neglected. The
productive enterprise which was to raise Rhode Island so high in the
list of manufacturing states, was already awakened, and as early as
1741 James Greene and his associates petitioned the Assembly for
permission to build a dam across the south branch of Pawtuxet river
and lay the foundation of those iron works which in the sequel became
so celebrated throughout the colonies. Population was increasing. The
large townships became too large for the demands of local government
and were divided. Thus Greenwich, carrying out the suggestions of its
position, was divided into East and West. About the same time Warwick
was divided and a new township set out under the name of Coventry.
In the next year North Kingstown was divided and the Town of Exeter
incorporated, and a year later the country district of Newport, which
was separated from the town by thick woods, was incorporated as
Middletown. The territorial struggle was nearly over and Rhode Island
was settling down into its permanent proportions. The schedules still
continue to record the progress of organization as experience called
for new changes. The office of attorney-general was abolished and a
King's attorney for every county appointed instead. A Court of Equity
composed of five judges, annually elected by the Assembly, was formed
to try all causes of appeal in personal actions from the Superior
Court to the General Assembly--a course which "by long experience had
been found prejudicial." To draw closer the ties of loyalty a form of
prayer for the royal family was sent from England to be read in every
religious assembly throughout the colonies as a part of public worship.

The dissensions with Connecticut concerning the western boundary had
taken a new form. The line, as the reader will remember, had been drawn
and marked by competent authority. A committee appointed by Connecticut
displaced the bound at the southwest corner of Warwick. The Rhode
Island Assembly sent surveyors to examine the ground and restore the
line. This outrage was repeated twice.

The history of the war does not belong to the history of Rhode Island,
although the spirit engendered by it led to the formation of some
military institutions. Among these was the Newport Artillery, which was
chartered in 1741, and is still one of the best disciplined corps in
the State.

I have spoken of the substitution of King's attorneys to
attorneys-general. It was made in the hope of enforcing the payment of
interest bonds. But after a short trial the original form was resumed.
The root of the evil was too deep. Another of the chronic evils of
paper money vexed the Colony sorely. Counterfeit bills followed close
upon the issue of genuine bills, and the Colony was flooded with bad

The Court of Equity was not continued long, and many other changes of
brief duration were made in various branches of government. But what
deserves especial mention is the instinctive perception with which
Rhode Island detected the slightest invasion of her chartered rights
and the courage with which she defended them. The clerkship of the
naval office in Newport was claimed by one Leonard Lockman in virtue
of a royal commission. The claim was referred to a committee which
reported "that His Majesty was mistaken in said grant" which belonged
to the Governor, who alone was responsible for the conduct of that
officer. The question of custom fees and vice-admiralty fees was
brought forward about the same time, and "the undoubted right of the
General Assembly to state the fees of all officers and courts within
the Colony" boldly asserted.

The expenses of the war still increased, straining the resources of the
Colony to the utmost. Questions of organization were still rising, but
the question of finance was the most difficult of all. New bills were
issued with reckless profusion, and various devices adopted for the
relief of the exchequer. Several bounties, and among them the bounties
on hemp and oil, were withdrawn. The tonnage duty upon all vessels
entering the Colony was revived. The lottery so wisely condemned in
1733 was legalized in 1744. Weybosset bridge was built by lottery.

The great military event of the campaign of 1745 was the capture of
Louisburg by colonial troops. In this gallant feat of arms which
fills so bright a page of colonial annals Rhode Island bore her
part--especially through the Tartar, which, supported by two other war
sloops, defeated at Famme Goose Bay a flotilla which was advancing with
large reinforcements to the relief of the enemy. Captain Fones, who
commanded the Tartar in this memorable campaign, has not received the
honorable mention to which he was entitled for his gallantry and skill.

New exertions were required for securing Louisburg, and the colonies
were again called upon to furnish men and supplies. In this also Rhode
Island bore her part, propping as best she might her tottering treasury
and using impressment for raising men. When the war was over England
acknowledged her services by special grants.

In this year Rhode Island lost one of her faithful sons, Colonel John
Cranston, son of the popular Governor, and commander of her forces at
the capture of Port Royal. Towards the close of the year another great
loss, though of another kind, fell upon the Colony. Two new privateers,
mounting twenty-two guns each, with crews of over two hundred men went
to sea the day before Christmas in a gale of wind and were never heard
of again. Privateers held a place in war then which they do not hold
now, and there was bitter sorrowing in more than two hundred households
when the months passed away and no tidings of husband or father or
brother came.

The success of the expedition against Louisburg increased the desire
to carry the war into Canada. Commissioners from the colonies were
invited to meet and take council together concerning the common
interest. Here we meet for the first time the names of Stephen Hopkins
and William Ellery, whose names stand side by side on the Declaration
of Independence, which is already drawing nigh. The sense of common
interest and mutual dependence gradually gains ground. Every exertion
was made to call out the strength of the Colony. Popular feeling went
with government and strengthened its hand for the great contest.
Canada and Indian warfare were inseparably connected in the minds of
the people, who, to rid themselves of the dreaded enemy submitted
cheerfully to what they would otherwise have resisted as tyranny.
Impressment was authorized by the Assembly.

In the midst of these efforts depreciation was undermining the strength
and corrupting the moral sense of the community. The property tax of
freemen had doubled. Bribery and fraudulent voting gained ground, and
an attempt was again made to meet them by increasing the severity of
the law. Every voter and every officer was required to declare under
oath that he had neither taken nor offered a bribe; and a single
fraudulent vote was sufficient to invalidate an election. The evidence
of the briber held good against the bribed; and that the law might
not be forgotten it was ordered to be "read in town meeting at every
semi-annual election for five years and the name of every transgressor
stricken from the roll of freemen."

Again, the vacillation of the ministry defeated the expedition against
Canada. Then came tidings of a great French armada which was coming
to the conquest of New England. Great was the alarm of the colonies.
But help came from another quarter. Disease and tempest scattered and
infected the hostile fleet. One commander died. His successor committed
suicide, and the shattered remnants of the unfortunate armada had hard
work to make their way back to the French coast.

Before the tidings of this disaster could reach New England it had
been resolved to send reinforcements to the succor of Annapolis Royal,
the supposed point of attack. The Rhode Island troops sailed early in
November. The Massachusetts troops soon followed. Both were overtaken
by heavy gales which cast some of them ashore at Mt. Desert. Some, like
their adversaries, the French, were crippled by disease and a few made
their way to the nearest port. Winter set in and the campaign of 1746
closed in gloom.

This was the year in which the royal decree concerning the eastern
boundary was enforced. Rhode Island gained by it a large accession of
territory--the towns of Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton, Warren and
Cumberland, which were incorporated and brought under the control of
Rhode Island laws. Thus ten new deputies were added to the colonial
representation. Thus, also, a revision of the judicial and military
system of the Colony became necessary, and a new court was established
under the title of Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and
General Jail Delivery, and consisting of a chief-justice and four
associate justices annually chosen by the Assembly. The judicial powers
of the assistants or upper House of Assembly ceased, though they still
continued to act as a court of probate. Two militia companies were
formed in Tiverton and one in each of the other new towns.

The previous history of the new towns belongs to Massachusetts and
Plymouth. Their annexation to Rhode Island brought her an increase
of about four thousand inhabitants, well trained most of them in the
tenets of religious freedom.

                              CHAPTER XXI.


The war was almost over, although privateers still endangered maritime
commerce. First an armistice was agreed upon for four months and then
peace was signed at Aix la Chapelle, on the 30th of April, 1748. It
was a welcome peace although the war had brought lessons with it which
were never forgotten. The men who had fought at Louisburg were looked
upon as veterans, and when the final struggle came brought experience
to the service of the revolting colonies. Parliament, well aware of
the readiness with which the colonies had contributed to the support
of the war both by men and by money, made them a grant of eight
hundred thousand pounds as an indemnity. Rhode Island's share for the
expedition against Cape Breton was six thousand three hundred and
twenty-two pounds twelve shillings and tenpence; for the expedition
against Canada, ten thousand one hundred and forty-four pounds nine
shillings and sixpence. But deductions were afterwards made in a
caviling spirit which excited bitter feelings. Still more irritating
to colonial pride was the article restoring to France her conquered
territories, for among them was Louisburg. Of the right of search,
the original cause of the war, no mention was made, a precedent not
forgotten in the war of 1812. Now was the time to heal the wound which
paper money had inflicted upon the commerce of the country. Hutchinson,
an aspiring young statesman of Massachusetts, formed a plan for sinking
the paper money and restoring specie payment by means of this grant.
Massachusetts after a long discussion, wisely adopted Hutchinson's
plan. Rhode Island and Connecticut rejected it. Rhode Island presently
felt the consequences of her error by the loss of her West India trade.

The records of the labors of peace again fill the schedules.
Charlestown was divided into two towns and the name of Richmond given
to the portion north of Pawcatuck river. The communications between the
different parts of the Colony were carefully watched over. There were
already nineteen ferries when peace returned, and of these thirteen
served to keep up the connection with the seat of government.

The year before the peace the first public library in the Colony, the
Redwood Library, was founded. It was fruit of the good tree planted by
Berkeley. In 1754 Providence followed the noble example and founded
the Providence Library Association. In the following year we find
another attempt to enforce a moral law by legislative enactment. The
act against swearing was revised, and a fine of five shillings or three
hours in the stocks imposed as a penalty for every offence.

The increase of population called for a revision of the statute of
legal residence. "New comers were required to give a month's notice of
intention to become residents, after which if they remained one year
without being warned to leave they were admitted as lawful inhabitants
of the town." A freehold estate of thirty pounds sterling also gave a
legal residence. "Apprentices having served their time in any town,
might elect their residence there, or return to the place of their
birth. Paupers not having acquired a legal settlement might be removed
by the councils on complaint of the overseer of the poor, to the place
of their last legal residence or to that of their birth." So careful
was the watch kept over the conditions and privileges of citizenship.
The Board of Trade called for a new census. "The population was found
to consist of thirty-four thousand one hundred and twenty-eight souls,
of whom twenty-nine thousand seven hundred and fifty were whites, the
remainder blacks and Indians. Newport contained forty-six hundred and
forty souls, Providence thirty-four hundred and fifty-two."

The lottery had taken a strong hold upon the innate love of chance.
The two first lotteries had been applied to public improvements. The
third was formed for the relief of an insolvent debtor. Henceforth
we meet it as a common relief in business misfortunes and a natural
assistant in new enterprises.

The winter of 1748-49 was made memorable in Rhode Island annals by the
death of John Callender, her first historian and pastor of the First
Baptist Church in Newport. Among the public works of the year which the
growing commerce of the Colony called for, was a light-house at the
south end of Conanicut, still known as Beaver Tail Light.

Depreciation began to make itself deeply felt as the interests of
English commerce became more and more interwoven with those of colonial
commerce. Their raw products were the only articles that the colonies
could give in exchange for English manufactures. Their West India trade
was their only source of coin. Colonial bills out of the colonies
were worthless. The subject was brought before the House of Commons,
which called for a full and accurate statement of the condition of the
currency. A committee was appointed by the Assembly to prepare the
statement, and Partridge the colonial agent directed to present and
support it. By this report it was shown that three hundred and twelve
thousand three hundred pounds in bills of credit, emitted to supply
the treasury since May, 1710, of which one hundred and seventy-seven
thousand had been burned at various times and one hundred and
thirty-five thousand pounds were still outstanding, amounting in all in
sterling money to about thirty-six thousand pounds.

An interesting incident of this year was the organization of a Moravian

The statute book records several new criminal statutes. It is an
illustration of domestic relations that the first divorce was granted
by the Assembly in 1754--more than a hundred years after the foundation
of the Colony. And it may be taken as proof of the feelings of the
Colony towards England, that a large number of English statutes were
transferred to the colonial statute book. New precautions against
fire were taken in Newport by the formation of firewards, and a fire
engine was sent for from England. Providence soon followed the example.
Another step was taken towards a satisfactory distribution of the
territory by forming East and West Greenwich, Coventry and Warwick into
a new county under the name of Kent County, with East Greenwich for its
county town. The new county was required to build a court house at its
own expense, which was partly done by lottery. Four years later another
town was formed from Providence County and incorporated under the name
of Cranston. In spite of the increased depreciation of the currency the
Colony continued to grow in numbers and strength. Seventeen hundred
and fifty-two was made memorable both in England and her colonies by
the adoption of the Gregorian calendar. Henceforth the new year begins
on the first of January instead of the twenty-fifth of March.

But the great event of the year was the decision of the lawsuit for the
possession of the glebe lands in Narragansett, a suit of nearly thirty
years standing, and which after passing through many phases was decided
in favor of the Congregationalists against the Episcopalians, upon
the ground that "by the Rhode Island charter all denominations were
orthodox, and that a majority of the grantors when the deed took effect
were Presbyterians or Congregationalists."

Meanwhile paper money was doing its bad work. The calendar of private
petitions bears sad witness to the evil. Bankruptcy became frequent,
and among the bankrupts of those days of gloom was Joseph Whipple, the
Deputy-Governor, who, surrendering all his property to his creditors
was relieved by a special act of insolvency. The spirit of enterprise
though dulled, was not crushed.

The first recorded patent was granted in 1753. Parliament had passed
an act to encourage the making of potash in the colonies, and Moses
Lopez took out a patent for making it for ten years by a process known
only to himself. The next year a similar patent was granted to James
Rogers for the manufacture of pearl-ash. The industrial instinct
which was to receive in the sequel so great a development, was already
girding itself up for the trial. The spirit of association, also,
was awakening. A society of sea-captains was incorporated for mutual
assistance under the name of the Fellowship Club. From this grew the
Newport Marine Society.

A new war was at hand, a war known to our childhood as the old French
war, and the last waged by France and England for the dominion of North
America. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had left the door wide open for
new claims, and these soon led to a new war. Here again Rhode Island
displayed great energy, sending Stephen Hopkins and Martin Howard,
Jr., to represent her as Commissioners at the Albany Congress of 1754,
in which Franklin brought forward his plan for developing by union
the resources of the colonies, she took promptly the steps necessary
for her own defence and complied cheerfully with the requisitions of
the English commanders. In this as in former wars she sent out her
privateers to harass the enemy's commerce. But her part in the contest
was a limited one. Her troops went as contingents not as armies. She
had no generals to give their names to great victories, and when peace
returned her soldiers and sailors returned cheerfully to the duties and
avocations of common life.

The annexation of the eastern towns in 1757 marks an important period
in the history of Rhode Island. With two unfriendly neighbors on each
side she had been compelled to contend inch by inch for her territory.
All the obstacles which impede development had accumulated in her path.
All the dangers which menace the existence of feeble colonies had
beset her. She had faced them all, she had overcome them all. A great
principle lay at the root of her civilization, and humanity itself was
inseparably connected with her success.

From the annexation of the eastern towns in 1757 to the peace of Paris
in 1763, all the leading events were more or less connected with the
war. Privateering took the place of commerce. Taxes were levied to
build and arm forts and raise and equip soldiers, not to erect churches
and court houses and libraries and schools.

The war was lingering but decisive. It gave England one brilliant
victory and one illustrious name--the Heights of Abraham, and Wolf--to
the colonies the lesson so valuable a few years later that English
troops might be driven where colonists held their ground, and the name
of Washington. Recorded in European history as the seven years war, for
the colonies it was a war of nine years, hostilities having begun two
years before war was declared. Nowhere is man's place in history more
distinctly marked than in this war, which till the right man came was a
succession of blunders and defeats. With William Pitt came victory.

While the war was still confined to the colonies a large number of
French residents had been thrown into jail as prisoners of war. What
was their legal position? The question was brought before the Assembly
by a petition for release, which was so far granted as to authorize
their transportation to some neutral port, and so far rejected as to
still subject them to the laws of war.

We have seen how watchful the home government was to enforce the laws
of trade. But with all its watchfulness smuggling still prevailed in
every colony. New orders came from the King directing the Assembly to
"pass effectual laws for prohibiting all trade and commerce with the
French, and for preventing the exportation of provisions of all kinds
to any of their islands or colonies." The Assembly passed the necessary
acts. But too many and too powerful interests were involved to admit of
their rigorous execution.

To this period belongs the bitterest party contest in the annals of
Rhode Island, generally known as the Ward and Hopkins contest. Samuel
Ward and Stephen Hopkins were the foremost Rhode Islanders of their
time; both men of self-acquired culture and both illustrious by public
services. Hopkins was the elder of the two, being born at Scituate on
the 7th of March, 1717. Ward was his junior by eighteen years. Both
were farmers and merchants, and both sincerely devoted to the interests
of their native Colony. But as to what those interests were they
differed widely, and their difference soon took the form of town and
country parties. Newport was the leading town of the Colony, not only
in commercial enterprise but in intellectual culture. Berkeley had not
left his foot-prints there in vain. This seat of Rhode Island culture
was best represented by Samuel Ward. The name of Hopkins stood for the
country. The distribution of taxes was one of the questions at issue.
Paper money was another. By degrees all questions of public policy were
classed under the one or the other of these two leading names. There
were sharp contests at the polls, painful severings of social ties and
all the bitterness which partisanship gives to political discussion. At
last the aid of the law was invoked and Hopkins sued Ward for slander.
It is a singular illustration of the altered relations between Rhode
Island and Massachusetts that in order to obtain an impartial jury the
trial should have taken place at Worcester. Ward was acquitted and
Hopkins condemned to pay the costs. In a few years the party contest
gave way to the graver contest of the Revolution wherein the two
leaders took their seats side by side in Congress Hall.

Among the events of domestic interest which belong to this period was
the burning of the Providence Court House--not so much for the loss of
the building as for that of the Providence Library which was kept in
one of its rooms. The want of a public library was keenly felt, and
when a lottery was granted for rebuilding the court house, half of its
proceeds were set apart for the library. Rhode Island already felt the
importance of libraries and schools. She will persevere in this course
till it secures her a comprehensive school system and an admirable

The theatre found less favor, although its founder, David Douglass,
brought with him the recommendation of the Governor and Council of
Virginia. His first application for a licence in Newport failed; a
second was more successful; and this pioneer of the American stage drew
for a while good houses. He moved to Providence and built a permanent
theatre. Many came from Boston to seek an enjoyment which they could
not find at home. But the current soon turned. The Bostonians met with
a cold reception, and the short-lived pleasure was condemned as a

A newspaper was a want more generally acknowledged. Hitherto there
had been none in the Colony. But in the summer of 1758 the _Newport
Mercury_ was established, and has held its ground with varying fortunes
to our own day. Four years later William Goddard established in
Providence the _Providence Gazette and Country Journal_. Among its
first contributors was Governor Hopkins, who began for it his "Account
of Providence," but called to other subjects by the excitement of the
times he never went beyond the first chapter. Enough, however, was
published to call out several insulting letters from Massachusetts.

Times were daily becoming more and more critical. The Board of Trade
insisted upon the rigorous enforcement of the navigation act. The
colonial governments passed the necessary laws but could not enforce
them. It was then that writs of assistance were first called for, and
from this call arose that trial so celebrated in colonial annals, the
first mutterings of the tempest which was at hand. James Otis became a
familiar name throughout the colonies.

For thirty-four years the Quaker diplomatist, Richard Partridge, had
faithfully and skillfully served Rhode Island as her agent in London.
In 1759 mindful to the last of the interests of the Colony, he wrote on
his death bed to recommend a brother Quaker, Joseph Sherwood, for his

In this same year freemasonry was introduced, a charter was granted by
the Assembly with permission to raise twenty-four hundred dollars by
lottery for building a hall in Newport.

We have seen how early attention was called to the subject of fires. In
1759 the immediate action at fires was placed under the direction of
five presidents of firewards, three of whom were elected at annual town
meetings with authority to blow up buildings if necessary in order "to
stop the progress of the flames." These details though minute, serve to
show how far our fathers carried their ideas of the powers and duties
of government.

The increase of population called for a new division of territory.
In 1757 Westerly was divided and its northern portion incorporated
under the name of Hopkinton, a choice of name which shows that in that
legislature the Hopkins party was in the majority. Two years later the
new town of Johnston was formed out of Providence and named after the

                             CHAPTER XXII.


Thus far we have traced the progress of Rhode Island, step by step
from the first small settlement on the banks of the Mooshausick to
the flourishing Colony, which, by its firmness and perseverance had
made it mistress of the shores and islands of Narragansett Bay. We
have seen it taking for its corner stone a vital principle of human
society, unrecognized as yet by the most advanced civilization. We
have seen this principle and society with it constantly endangered by
misinterpretations, and the little Colony brought more than once to
the brink of the precipice by the malignity of implacable enemies. We
have seen it gradually growing in strength and enlightenment, drawing
abundant harvests from a niggard soil, spreading its ships of commerce
over distant seas and protecting its coasts by its own ships of war. We
have seen it working out its civil organization by patient experiment,
making laws and unmaking them as they met or failed to meet the want
for which they were made. And now we shall see her strong by virtue,
resolute by conviction and rich by intelligent industry, gird herself
up for the contest which was to decide forever the relations of the
British colonies of North America to their mother country. But before
we enter upon this part of our subject let us pause a moment and
consider somewhat more closely our new starting point.

The society which Roger Williams brought with him to the banks of
the Mooshausick was a morally constituted society, in which all the
questions of moral law had been studied and discussed as revealed in
the Scriptures. It was not till their numbers increased and their wants
with them that the idea of law took root amongst them and they became
a legally constituted society. Their laws arose from their necessities
and followed the development of their legal sense. They felt the
want and strove by experiment to discover the remedy. Successful
experiment became law and the statute book the record of the progress
of civilization.

To this statute book, therefore, we must go for our knowledge of
colonial life in all its relations. It defines the condition of the
individual and the qualifications, the rights and the duties of the
citizen. It defines the powers and prerogatives of government, and
assigns to each department its limits and its sphere. Its enumeration
of crime is the key to the moral sense of the community, and its
provisions for the moral and intellectual training of the citizen show
how far it has comprehended the reciprocal obligations and true nature
of the ties which bind the citizen to his commonwealth.

Following this guide we find that Rhode Island has worked out her
problem of self-government and soul liberty, framing for herself a
pure democracy and surrounding it with all the provisions required for
protection against foreign violence and internal dissension. After many
trials she has organized a judiciary system adequate to the protection
of person and property and the prompt administration of justice. She
has cultivated the sense of right and wrong and made careful provision
for the enforcement of contracts and the punishment of crimes. She
has opened highways, established ferries and built bridges. She has
favored navigation by the institution of judicious harbor laws. She
has provided for the extermination of wolves and foxes by the offer of
liberal bounties, and for the protection of fish and deer by stringent
laws. She has broached the difficult subject of public charities and
made a beginning of provision for the poor and the insane. She has
initiated a system of public schools and founded a college which in the
course of half a century becomes a university. She has opened her doors
wide for different creeds, and required only that they all should be
equally free.

Her relations with the mother country had taken their coloring from
the attitude of self-defence which she was compelled to maintain
towards the adjacent colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut, which
were eager to divide her territory between them. Against their long
persecutions her last appeal was to the King, and she made it without
humbling herself, for her enemy was at her own door and of her own

From the beginning of her civil life she had been contemptuously
refused admission to the league from which Massachusetts and
Connecticut derived the strength that made them bold both for
aggression and for defence. More than once she seemed to be upon the
point of being crushed, but of yielding--never. Hence in her relations
with the mother country she never assumed the defiant attitude which
her stronger sisters assumed and which at an early day awakened
suspicions of their loyalty. Rhode Island was loyal as it behooved
her to be; but she never carried her loyalty so far as to imperil the
rights guaranteed to her by her charter.

We enter upon a new period of colonial history. The contest with France
was over. The contest with England was beginning. For England, not
satisfied with the advantage which she had derived from her colonies
by constitutional means, resolved to deprive them of the protection
which the constitution accorded to the humblest subject of the crown.
They would gladly have contributed their portion to the expenses of
the war and taxed themselves to pay it. But English constitutional law
had prescribed the forms and conditions with which taxes could be
raised, and colonial constitutional law taught that representation was
an essential condition of taxation. This led to the stamp act and that
train of disasters so fatal to English supremacy.

Equally fatal was the ill-timed jealousy with which she sought
to fetter the commerce and check the manufacturing spirit of the
colonists. It was from their commerce with the French islands that they
drew not only many articles which habit had made essential to their
comfort, but the greater part of their hard money. To England they sent
their raw material, and receiving it back in the shape of manufactured
goods paid liberally for the English labor and skill. England's best
customers were her colonies.

War had been a severe school in which much needed lessons had been
learned. Farmers and mechanics had learned to be soldiers and bear the
hardships of a soldier's life. Taxes had increased and legislation
had been compelled to busy itself largely with questions of military
organization, with the building of forts, the raising of recruits,
the providing of supplies. Maritime enterprise had lost none of its
ardor, but had encountered sore rebuffs. From the port of Providence
alone forty nine vessels richly laden had fallen into the hands of the
enemy. On the land, also, many valuable lives had been lost and many
industrious hands taken from the tilling of the soil to waste their
strength in the barren offices of war. The time when these lessons
would be turned to account was drawing nigh.

Meanwhile internal improvements continued to receive the attention of
the legislature. Church's Harbor was made safer for fishermen by the
erection of a breakwater. Providence Cove was the seat of a prosperous
trade, and especially of shipbuilding. To facilitate the communication
with the water below a draw was opened in Weybosset bridge.

The cancer of paper money was still eating into the vitals of the
community, in spite of the legislative palliatives which were from time
to time fruitlessly applied to it. Party spirit also had reached its
fullest development, and the two rival factions of Ward and Hopkins
continued to hate each other bitterly and fight each other obstinately
at the polls. These were minor evils. But in the great northwest new
war clouds were gathering under the influence of the mighty Pontiac,
its king and lord. Parliament prepared for the outbreak, and voted an
appropriation of a hundred and thirty-three thousand pounds and an
army of ten thousand men for the defence of the American colonies. The
regulars were sent against the Indians and parts of the provincials
were distributed through the frontier garrisons. The Rhode Islanders
were stationed at Fort Stanwix. We are spared the story of the war of
Pontiac. It belongs to the frontier and is in no way connected with
Rhode Island history. Another contest on which hung the fate of all
the colonies is already begun.

I have often spoken of the Board of Trade and the jealous scrutiny
with which it watched the growth of the colonies. Too short-sighted to
see that their prosperity was intimately connected with the prosperity
of the mother country, the ministry by advice of the Board of Trade
drew tight the bands of commerce and encumbered the communications of
the two countries with dangerous restraints. Trade had increased, but
the revenue had not increased in its natural proportion. The form of
the evil was smuggling, but its root was the imposition of oppressive
duties. Walpole alone had seen forty years before that the surest way
to enlarge the revenue was to make the importation of the raw material
and the exportation of the manufactured goods as easy as possible. But
Walpole stood alone in his wisdom. An attempt was made to enforce the
acts of trade. New officers were appointed, a ship of war was stationed
in Newport harbor during the winter of 1763 and the noisome tribe of
revenue officers stimulated to zealous exertion.

In 1739 a heavy blow had been dealt the commercial and manufacturing
industry of the colonies by the molasses and sugar act, imposing a
duty on those articles which looked very much like taxation. The
colonists looked anxiously to 1764 when the odious act would expire
by limitation. But when the time came it was promptly renewed and
extended to other articles of domestic consumption. And now was first
heard the ominous words stamp act and committees of correspondence.
By the stamp act no legal or commercial act was valid unless it
was written on stamped paper. The price of this paper was fixed by
government and a body of agents appointed to carry on the sale. Thus
every transaction in which there was a legal form became tributary
to government. In what does this differ from taxation without
representation? asked the colonists. But so little did government
comprehend the real nature of what it was doing that instead of
foreseeing the collision of the two constitutions Parliament assumed
by a formal vote the right to tax the colonies. All that remonstrance
could gain was a postponement of the stamp act till some more
acceptable form of impost could be devised. Even the colonial agents in
London failed to see that a radical change in the relations of the two
countries was at hand. "The sun of liberty is set," wrote Franklin from
London to Charles Thompson at Philadelphia. "The Americans must light
the candles of industry and economy."

"They will light a very different kind of candle," was the reply.

The spirit of resistance gained strength daily. Massachusetts took the
lead in recommending the call of a Congress of Delegates to meet at
New York and take counsel concerning the condition of the country.
Rhode Island followed close in her footsteps. In Virginia Patrick
Henry brought forward a series of resolutions which going directly to
the fundamental principles of constitutional taxation found adherents
everywhere. In Providence the _Gazette_ reappeared in an extra number
with "_vox populi vox Dei_" for superscription, and "where the Spirit
of the Lord is there is Liberty," for motto. Augustus Johnston, the
attorney-general, was appointed stamp distributor, but refused to
"execute his office against the will of our sovereign Lord the People."

In Newport riots took place and popular feeling manifested itself with
extreme violence. The effigies of three obnoxious citizens were kept
hanging on a gallows in front of the court house through the day, and
in the evening cut down and burned in the presence of a great crowd.
Next morning the violence of the mob increased, the obnoxious three and
equally obnoxious revenue officers were compelled to take refuge on
board the Cygnet sloop-of-war that was lying in the harbor.

Meanwhile a calm, firm voice came from the soberer and more thoughtful
citizens assembled in town meeting, instructing their deputies to
give their "utmost attention to those important objects, the court
of admiralty and the act for levying stamp duties." ... "It is for
liberty, that liberty for which our fathers fought, that liberty which
is dearer to a generous mind than life itself that we now contend."

The day for the enforcement of the stamp act came. But the Congress
at New York and the town meetings and assemblies of the different
colonies had done their work thoroughly. In a session of the Assembly
held at East Greenwich, Rhode Island declared her intention to assert
her "rights and privileges with becoming freedom and spirit, ... and
to express these sentiments in the strongest manner." Six energetic
resolutions were passed pointing unequivocally at independence if
grievances were not redressed. The grave duty of representing her in
the New York Congress was entrusted to Henry Ward, colonial secretary,
and Metcalf Bowler. Governor Ward, Governor Fitch, of Connecticut,
and the Royal Governors were called upon to make oath that they would
support the obnoxious act. Samuel Ward alone refused.

The fatal day came, and with its inauspicious dawn legal life ceased.
Ships lay idle at the wharves for want of clearance. Merchants could
not fill an invoice, the officers of the law could not enforce its
decrees. Men and women could not marry or be given in marriage. Civil
life was paralyzed in all its functions. Whither will this lead us?
was the question that rose to every lip. It was soon evident that
the colonies were terribly in earnest. They would rely upon personal
honesty and do without stamps. Mobs and riots showed to what lengths
the heated popular mind was prepared to go. Engagements to suspend all
commercial intercourse with England and employ their means in fostering
their own manufactures and productions manifested an intelligent union
of purpose which could not be mistaken. Of the stamp distributors some
resigned, some refused to act. Throughout the whole country, in town
and village not a stamp was to be found, not an agent dared to receive
or sell the hateful ware. England bowed to the blast and repealed the
act, but as if to leave the way open for future taxation coupled the
appeal with an act declaring that Parliament had a right "to bind the
colonies in all cases whatsoever." The wound was salved over, not

There were other subjects of collision. We have seen that British ships
of war visiting Newport harbor were sometimes welcomed. Sometimes,
however, they were held to strict account for their conduct. Lieutenant
Hill, of the schooner St. John, was fired into from Fort George for
some unrecorded offence. In the following year the Maidstone roused
the indignation of the inhabitants by impressing seamen openly in the
harbor. Even market boats were stopped and their men taken violently
from them. A ship from the coast was boarded as she entered the harbor
and her crew impressed. Popular forbearance could go no further. In
the evening a mob of sailors five hundred strong seized one of the
Maidstone's boats and burned it on the common. The way was opening for
the burning of the Gaspee.

Meanwhile there were great rejoicings over the repeal of the stamp act.
Very soon men will begin to look closely to the act that was tacked to
it--the declaratory act.

The great step towards securing the concurrent action of the colonies
in their resistance was taken. On the 7th of October, 1765, the
second colonial Congress met in New York, and after a three weeks
earnest discussion sent forth an address to the King, an address to
the people, and a memorial to both houses of Parliament, claiming
that as Englishmen they could not be taxed without their own consent
or deprived of the right of trial by jury. It was soon made evident
that the country would stand by them. Associations were formed under
the name of "Sons of Liberty." Rhode Island went a step further,
and formed associations of the "Daughters of Liberty." Hitherto the
correspondence with the colonies had been conducted by the Board of
Trade. But as the dispute assumed a more definite shape, the infatuated
King, who was resolutely persisting in his unconstitutional scheme of
personal government, gave orders that the colonial dispatches should be
addressed to him.

It has been seen that Parliament had resolved to indemnify the colonies
for their expenses during the late war. Several payments for this
purpose had already been made. But after the stamp act riots the
balance though voted was withheld under the pretext that the sufferers
by those riots should first be indemnified for their losses. As the
Colony had exerted itself beyond its strength to bear its part in the
war, this withholding of its just compensation was felt to be a great
wrong. When the day for summing up her share in the common grievances
came, Rhode Island did not forget this wrong.

Taxes continued to excite bitter complaints, and though called for
to meet the daily wants of government, were not collected without
great difficulty. In 1767 this dissatisfaction reached its height,
unseating Governor Ward and working a complete political revolution. A
new valuation of ratable property was made to serve as the basis of a
just taxation, but was opposed as favoring trade at the expense of the

Among the laws demanded by the growing trade was an act fixing interest
at six per cent., and making contracts for higher rates usury to be
punished by the forfeiture of principal and interest. The true nature
of money loans was not yet understood. Among the important civil acts
of this period was the completion of an elaborate digest of the laws,
two hundred copies of which were printed and distributed among the

We have seen that early attention was given to education, and schools
opened in Newport, Portsmouth and Providence. In 1766 a grammar school
was founded in Exeter upon a gift of five hundred acres of land made
seventy years before by Samuel Sewall, of Boston, one of the original
purchasers of Pettaquamscot. But more important still was the effort
that was made about the same time for the establishment of free schools
in Providence to be supported by taxation. Like all such movements it
met with most opposition where such schools were most needed, among the
poor. In part, however, it was successful, a brick school-house was
built and the supervision of all the schools given to a committee of
nine, composed in part of the town council.

The foundation of a university, chiefly in order to secure for
Baptists the same educational advantages that were enjoyed by other
denominations, also belongs to this period. Foremost among its founders
was the Rev. Morgan Edwards, and among its benefactors John Brown, of
Providence, in record of whose liberality it was removed from Warren,
its first seat, to Providence, and its name changed from Rhode Island
College to Brown University. Four denominations were represented in
its corporation, but a large majority reserved to its founders, the
Baptists. Religious tests were forbidden by charter, but the president
was required to be a Baptist. Its property and all those connected
officially with it were exempted from taxation.

To the ecclesiastical history of this period belongs the Warren
Association of Baptist Churches. The pen also claims its part in the
discussion of rights, and among the causes of the rupture we must
count the "Farmer's Letters," among its instruments committees of

Among the things effecting the material interests of the Colony was the
discovery of a new bed of iron ore on the Pawtuxet River, in Cranston.
In the preparations which were immediately made for working it, the
rights of the fish, which had so often been the subject of legislation,
were not forgotten.

                             CHAPTER XXIII.


The feud of the two parties which had so long divided the Colony ceased
at the approach of danger from abroad. A new Governor was elected,
Josias Lyndon, and a new Deputy-Governor, Nicholas Cooke, whose name
meets us so honorably during the first years of the war, now close at
hand. For Ward and Hopkins a broader field of honorable rivalry was
opening, and we shall soon see them working earnestly together in the
Congress of the Declaration.

England had grown very angry over the attempts of the colonies to
organize a system of concerted action. But the times were full of
lessons, and the chiefest and most heeded among them was the lesson
of union. The Parliament of 1761 was as blind as its predecessors had
been, and came together firmly resolved to chastise the Americans
into obedience. Where both sides were equally suspicious and equally
embittered positive collision could not long be avoided. The first
occurred in Newport harbor between three midshipmen of the Senegal
man-of-war which was lying in the harbor, and some of the citizens. A
citizen, Henry Sparker, was run through the body by an officer named
Thomas Careless. Careless was indicted for murder, but acquitted on
trial by the Superior Court on the plea of self-defence. Collisions
occurred at Boston, all of which served to fan the flame of discontent.
To hasten the crisis a regiment supported by a naval force was sent to
overawe the rebellious town.

At the June session of the General Assembly (1758) an address was
voted to John Dickinson for his "Letters of a Farmer." In closing it
they "hope that the conduct of the colonies on this occasion will be
peaceable, prudent, firm and joint." Resistance was becoming a familiar
idea, and one of the most significant ways of expressing it was by
liberty trees. A large elm in front of Olney's tavern, in Providence,
was dedicated in the presence of an enthusiastic crowd, and an oration
embodying the popular sentiment pronounced by Silas Downer.

In the September session several important State papers were prepared,
and the withholding of the war money complained of as a great
injustice. Still in the midst of this growing disloyalty the King was
always spoken of with affection and respect.

While attention was thus anxiously directed to England, purely domestic
interests were not forgotten. The deputy-governor's salary was fixed
at fifteen pounds, half that of the governor. An educational society
was incorporated at Providence under the name of Whipple Hall. Laws
relative to real estate were passed, making it liable for debt after
the death of the holder. School and church lands were exempted from
taxation, and Trinity Church, in Newport, was incorporated, the first
incorporation of a church in Rhode Island. An act was passed, also,
wherein the old policy of protecting the river fish was changed, and
the Scituate Furnace Company allowed to keep up the dam in the spring.
In a previous year a general estimate of ratable estates had been
ordered. In 1769 it was reported and found to amount to two million
one hundred and eleven thousand two hundred and ninety-five pounds ten
shillings and sevenpence, or seven million thirty-seven thousand six
hundred and fifty-two dollars, at the current value of lawful money,
six shillings to a dollar, which was made by statute the basis of

This was the year of the transit of Venus, to which astronomers were
looking forward with deep interest. In this band of observers Rhode
Island was represented by Governor Hopkins and other unprofessional
scientists in Providence, and by Ezra Stiles of Newport--and here we
again meet the name of Abraham Redwood, who was never either governor
or deputy-governor, but still lives in fresh remembrance as founder
of the Redwood Library. He furnished the instruments for the Newport
observation. The local memory of this event is still preserved in
Providence by the name of the street in which the observatory stood.
The latitude of Providence was found to be 41°, 50', 41"; its longitude
71°, 16' west from Greenwich.

Meanwhile the current was daily sitting more decidedly towards armed
resistance. Opinions which four years before had been cautiously
whispered in corners, now formed the chief topic of declamation in
every private and public gathering. Virginia passed unanimously another
series of resolutions more decided than the first, and sent copies
of them to every colonial assembly. Rhode Island thanked her through
the Governor. The Wilkes riots in London strengthened the hands of
the opposition, and Lord Hillsborough gave assurance at a meeting of
several colonial agents that the idea of drawing a revenue from America
had been given up, and the offensive revenue act would in all but the
tax on tea be repealed. Ministers failed to see that it was an inherent
right, not a sum of money for which the colonists were contending. And
in this contention they were prepared to go all lengths.

There was smuggling it was true, and thereby a constant loss to the
revenue, but the method of enforcing the revenue laws was vexatious
and intolerable to a free people. The officers employed in collecting
the revenue belonged to a class immemoriably odious, and even where
the collection was entrusted to officers of the Royal Navy it was
conducted with an insolence and disregard of the rights and feelings of
the colonists which made it doubly odious. Things had already reached
the pass at which compromises become impossible. Either the King or the
people must yield. Fortunately for mankind victory was where the young
fresh life lay, with the colonists.

Among those who had made themselves most offensive in their endeavors
to suppress the contraband trade was Captain William Reid, of the armed
sloop Liberty, which was cruising in quest of smugglers in Long Island
Sound and Narragansett Bay. Under the pretext of putting down illicit
trade he had sorely annoyed legitimate commerce. After bearing with his
annoyances till they could be borne no longer, the people of Newport
seized his vessel, scuttled and sank her, cut down her mast and burnt
her boat. This was the first overt act of the War of Independence.
Proclamations were issued and rewards offered, but the offenders were
never detected. Another wrong inflicted by the revenue officers was in
claiming higher fees than were allowed by law. After bearing this also
till their patience gave out, the merchants of Newport banded together
to resist the imposition.

The question of renewing the non-importation agreement came up for
decision. New York, which on this occasion had taken the lead, was
for extending them "indefinitely until every portion of the revenue
act shall be repealed." Boston followed the example. In Providence
and throughout the country opinion was divided, but after much
discussion nearly all concurred in admitting everything but tea, and
Newport brought down the indignation of the other colonies upon her by
admitting prohibited articles.

In these same days the chronicle records a murrain among the cattle
and hydrophobia among the dogs. From the first, relief was sought by
forbidding the exportation of cattle from the island, from the last by
giving general leave to kill all dogs running at large. These acts were
to hold good for four months.

This was the period of Newport's greatest prosperity. Her population
was over eleven thousand. She had seventeen manufactories of sperm oil
and candles, five rope-walks, three sugar refineries, one brewery and
twenty-two distilleries of rum, an article which in those days was
deemed essential to the health of the sailor and the soldier, and all
hard working men. Her foreign commerce found employment for nearly two
hundred ships, her domestic trade for between three and four hundred
coasting craft. A regular line of packets kept open her communications
with London for passengers and mails. Her society had never lost the
intellectual impulse given it by Berkeley. Ezra Stiles, the most
learned American of his day, filled one of her pulpits, Samuel
Hopkins, the founder of a new school of theology, another. A public
library, which still bears the name of its founder, furnished the means
of literary recreation and research. She would gladly have drawn Rhode
Island College to herself also, but though great efforts were made to
bring this about Providence made the better offer and obtained the

While this question was still under discussion the first Commencement
came round. Seven young men, clad like their officers in the products
of American looms, presented themselves for graduation. It was a
holiday in which all citizens could heartily unite, for it was the only
one which brought them together in the gratification of a common pride.
Commencement Day and Election Day continued to be the gathering days of
the Colony long after the Colony had become a State.

The greater part of the slaves of the Colony were in Newport, and
special laws were enacted concerning their general treatment and their
manumission. In the autumn session of 1770 these laws were revised, and
a bill introduced prohibiting their further importation. Unfortunately
this movement went no farther. The evil had struck too deep.

There was a lull in the storm. Even men not used to indulge vain hopes
began to think that the cloud which had so long darkened the horizon
might pass away. The revenue acts were still the chief obstacles to
harmony. Smugglers were as bold and as successful as ever. But nothing
occurred in 1771 to show that the final rupture was so near. Rhode
Island's peculiar grievance was the old war debt. To make one more
effort, Henry Marchant, the new attorney-general, was directed to join
Sherwood in enforcing the claim. Another old question was also revived,
that of the northern boundary. Among the acts of the Assembly was a new
bankrupt law. The evils of a paper currency still continued to bear
their fruit.

But one of the most dangerous movements of this year was a claim
advanced by Governor Hutchinson to the command of the Rhode Island
forts and militia. This claim Rhode Island had contested when advanced
by former governors, nor was she disposed to yield to it now. Still
less was she disposed to accept a proposal which at this time came from
Bristol under the signature, "A Friend to Property," to divide Rhode
Island between Massachusetts and Connecticut, or ask that she should be
made a royal government upon the ground that "an elective legislature
must always be a source of disorder and corruption" in a small state.

That Rhode Island was not disorderly nor corrupt was proved by the
conduct of her courts. A merchant of Wrentham named David Hill was
detected by the New York Committee of Inspection "in selling goods
included in the non-importation agreements." By the persuasion of the
committee he was prevailed upon "to deposit his goods with a merchant
till the revenue acts should be repealed." But the suspicions of the
people were excited, and they seized the goods and destroyed them. Hill
finding in Rhode Island "property belonging to some of the committee,"
sued them in the Rhode Island courts, asserting that in giving up his
goods he had acted upon compulsion. The sympathies of the courts and
the people were against him. But, guided by the law and the evidence
the Court of Common Pleas awarded him heavy damages and the Superior
Court confirmed the award. In the next year when a new election came
round and the voice of the people was heard, they also confirmed it by
reëlecting the same men for judges. These righteous judges were Stephen
Hopkins, James Helme, Benoni Hall, Metcalf Bowler and Stephen Potter.

While these things were a doing the insolence of the officials
employed in enforcing the revenue laws reached its highest point.
The suppression of smuggling in Narragansett Bay was entrusted to
Lieutenant Duddingston, of the Royal Navy, with two armed vessels--the
Gaspee, a schooner of eight guns, and the Beaver. Not contented
with performing the duties of his office, still vexatious even when
considerately executed, he multiplied its annoyances by a thousand
acts of petty tyranny. He stopped vessels of every kind without
discrimination--ships just from sea, and market boats on their way to
Providence and Newport with their perishable freights, and to increase
the indignity refused to show his commission or the authority by which
he acted. Admiral Montague, who commanded on the station, justified
him in his oppression. Complaints were sent to England, but the day of
complaint was past.

On the 8th of June the sloop Hannah, Benjamin Lindsey, master, arrived
at Newport from New York, and having reported at the custom house set
sail the next day for Providence. No sooner was she seen from the deck
of the Gaspee than the watchful servant of the King gave chase, and
venturing too near a point which ran out from the right bank of the
river took ground. Captain Lindsey kept on his course with the welcome
tidings that the common enemy was at bay. At the beat of the drum
the exasperated citizens came crowding to the gathering place, James
Sabin's house in South Main Street. Eight long boats with five oars
each were manned. Powder was prepared and bullets run, and when night
set in with its friendly shades the resolute band set forth on its
mission of vengeance.

It was long after midnight when they came within sight of the doomed
vessel hard set in the sand, and heard the first hoarse challenge of
the guard. Without heeding it they dashed forward and as a second
challenge came were at her side. Duddingston sprang upon the
gunwale--he had no time to dress, no time to arm himself or call his
men to quarters--but as he stood full in view his figure caught the
eye of Joseph Bucklin who was standing on one of the main thwarts.
"Eph.," said Bucklin to Ephraim Bowen, who was sitting on the thwart
on which Bucklin was standing and who lived to tell the story in his
eighty-sixth year, "reach me your gun, I can kill that fellow." As Eph.
was reaching him the gun, Whipple, one of the leaders was beginning
to answer Duddingston's hail:--"I am the sheriff of the County of
Kent, God damn you,"--but while he was yet speaking Bucklin fired and
Duddingston fell, wounded in the stomach. The surprise was complete.
The crew with their wounded commander were sent ashore and the vessel
burned to the water's edge.

Who were these bold men? Everybody in Providence knew; but although
large rewards were offered for their detection and a special tribunal
formed to try them, nobody was ever found to bear witness against them.
So deep were the feelings that prepared the way for the separation from

                             CHAPTER XXIV.


The 22d of June, 1772, was memorable in the history of humanity,
for it was on that day that Mansfield solemnly declared as Lord
Chief-Justice of England that slavery could not exist on English soil.
This declaration met with a hearty response in Rhode Island. On the
17th of May, 1774, the citizens of Providence met in town meeting to
take counsel together upon the questions of the day. Two resolves of
this meeting stand fitly side by side. An intestate estate comprising
six slaves had fallen to the town. In the meeting it was voted that it
was "unbecoming the character of freemen to enslave the said negroes,
that personal liberty was an essential part of the natural rights of
mankind, and that the Assembly should be petitioned to prohibit the
further importation of slaves, and to declare that all negroes born in
the Colony should be free after a certain age."

In the June session of 1774 the question was brought before the
Assembly. "Those" says the preamble, "who are desirous of enjoying
all the advantages of liberty themselves, should be willing to extend
personal liberty to others."... Therefore, says the bill, "for the
future no negro or mulatto slave shall be brought into this Colony." To
perfect the act clauses were added defining the condition of slaves in
transit with their masters, and protecting the Colony against pauper

Having taken this high ground concerning the individual, they took
ground equally noble concerning the Colony, "resolving that the
deputies of this town be requested to use their influence at the
approaching session of the General Assembly of this Colony for
promoting a Congress, as soon as may be, of the representatives of
the general assemblies of the several colonies and provinces of North
America for establishing the firmest union, and adopting such measures,
as to them shall appear the most effectual to answer that important
purpose, and to agree upon proper methods for executing the same." Thus
in Rhode Island the condemnation of slavery and the call for union went
hand in hand.

The time for hesitation was past. Event came crowding upon event.
Virginia, also, called for a Congress. But it was on Boston chiefly
that all eyes were fixed. Her example had strengthened the hands of
the discontented, and both the King and his Parliament had resolved
to make her a warning example of royal indignation. For this the bill
closing her port and cutting off her commerce and known in history as
the Boston Port Bill was passed. It was to go into operation the 1st of
June, 1774. Never did a great wrong awaken a more universal resentment.
Old jealousies and rivalries were forgotten in the sense of a common
danger. On the 1st of June the voice of mourning and commiseration was
heard throughout the land. Virginia set it apart as a day of fasting
and prayers. From every Colony came contributions in sheep and oxen
and money. Rhode Island sent eight hundred and sixty sheep, thirteen
oxen, four hundred and seventeen pounds in money. Boston in this day of
suffering was for her no longer the Boston of the Atherton Company and
disputed boundary lines.

But intelligent as Rhode Island had proved herself in her political
measures, she could not altogether raise herself above the ignorance
of her age in sanitary measures. The small-pox was in Newport, and
inoculation was still an undecided question. Should the legislature be
asked to declare for it or against it? After four days of discussion it
was decided in the negative by a close vote.

We have already seen that a special tribunal had been organized to
follow up the question of the Gaspee. In its instructions directions
were given to send their prisoners to England for trial. Hutchinson,
the renegade Governor of Massachusetts, proposed to annul the charter
of Rhode Island. The committee applied to Samuel Adams for counsel. "An
attack upon the liberties of one colony," was his answer, "is an attack
upon the liberties of all."

The new year, the eventful 1773, began amid anxious doubts and firm
resolves. The Assembly was sitting at East Greenwich, the Gaspee
court at Newport. "What shall I do?" asked Chief-Justice Hopkins. The
Assembly bade him follow his own judgment. "Then for the purpose of
transportation for trial," said the brave old man, "I will neither
apprehend any person by my own order nor suffer any executive officers
in the Colony to do it." The question fortunately never rose, but
questions equally important were at hand.

The burning of the Gaspee was a sudden outbreak of popular indignation.
To thoughtful minds it was a still more alarming indication of popular
feeling that the senior officer on the station, Captain Keeler, of the
Mercury, should have been seized and verdicts of trespass and trover
found against him in the colonial courts. But England did not heed the

But the great work was done by the Committee of Correspondence, already
formed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1764, but more effectively
organized in Virginia in 1775--the railroads and telegraphs of those
days. They bound the colonies in a union which doubled their strength
and fanned their zeal into a flame. Through them the earliest and
"most authentic intelligence of all such acts and resolutions of
the British Parliament, and measures of the ministry as may relate
to or affect the British colonies in America" was obtained, and a
correspondence concerning them kept up with the other colonies. In all
these preparations for the struggle, now so near at hand, Rhode Island
bore her part. And while they were going on, and as if his part had
been done, her faithful agent, proved by fourteen years of assiduous
service, Joseph Sherwood, died.

In October, 1773, the tea act went into operation, leading the
discontent still more directly to action. But as no tea was sent to
Rhode Island, and the story is well known I shall not repeat it here,
only saying that public meetings were held in all of which it was
resolved to confirm the Philadelphia resolutions. Rhode Island had
another grievance to complain of.

The story of the Hutchinson letters is well known to every reader of
American history. Some unknown friend of the colonies had put them in
the hands of Franklin, and Franklin had sent them to America. "Among
them was a letter of George Rome, written six years before, denouncing
the governments and courts of Rhode Island." It was immediately
published in newspapers and on broadsides, and in every form which
could give it circulation. Everywhere it was read with the strongest
expressions of condemnation. The author was brought to the bar of
the house of deputies, and refusing to plead, sent to jail for the
remainder of the session.

Among the acts of revenge which disgrace the English legislation of
this period, was the removal of Franklin from the responsible office
of superintendent of the American post-office. In his hands the
post-office had become a trustworthy institution, paying its way and
meeting the wants and commanding the confidence of the country. As a
means of communication it had become a bond of union. To suppress it
would be a serious blow to the social and commercial relations of all
the colonies. The blow fell, but not according to its aim. We have
already recorded the name of William Goddard as founder and editor of
the _Providence Gazette_. When Franklin was removed Goddard conceived
the idea of a colonial post-office adapted to the new relations between
England and the colonies. To secure the concurrence of all the colonies
he visited them all, explaining his plans and awakening everywhere that
confidence without which all his efforts would have been vain. It was
another step towards union.

On the eve of such a contest it was wise to count heads. A census
was ordered and gave as its result fifty-nine thousand six hundred
and seventy-eight, of whom fifty-four thousand four hundred and
thirty-five were whites, three thousand seven hundred and sixty-one
blacks, and one thousand four hundred and eighty-two Indians.

Two events of grave significance mark the month of May, 1774. General
Gage entered Boston as Governor, and a town meeting was held at
Providence wherein it was resolved, "that the deputies of this town
be requested to use their influence at the approaching session of the
General Assembly of this Colony, for promoting a Congress as soon as
may be, of the Representatives of the General Assemblies of the several
colonies and provinces of North America for establishing the firmest
Union, and adopting such measures as to them shall appear the most
effectual to answer that important purpose; and to agree upon proper
methods for executing the same."

In the same meeting it was recommended to break off all trade with
Great Britain, Ireland, Africa and the West Indies till the Boston
Port Bill should be repealed. Everywhere the warmest sympathy with
Boston was expressed and effective measures taken to assist her by
contributions of provisions and money. East Greenwich was the first
to open a subscription for her. The example was promptly followed by
Newport, Westerly and other towns in which her name had never awakened
kindly feelings before. Some of the poor sought refuge in neighboring
colonies, and found work and sympathy. Some Tories, alarmed at the
prospect of a siege, removed to Providence, but found it a dangerous
residence for men of their political creed. One of these, a hardware
dealer named Joseph Simpson, seems to have been particularly obnoxious
to the Whigs, who of a Saturday night covered his doors and windows
with tar and feathers. A public meeting was called to protest against
allowing the town to be made a receptacle of the enemies of the
country and request the council to have such persons legally removed.
Some indications of disorder appearing, another meeting was called to
"insist upon the supremacy of the laws."

Measures of defence, also, began now to attract the attention of the
Assembly. The stores at Fort George were examined. Some thirty years
before an independent company had been chartered under the name of the
Providence County Artillery. This name was now changed to Cadet Company
and the corps formed upon a regimental basis, taking its position
field days on the right. The Light Infantry Company, of Providence,
was chartered at the same session. It was to consist of a hundred men
and be stationed "in front of the left wing of the regiment." A day
of fasting and prayer was appointed and religiously observed. But the
most important step of all was the election of Stephen Hopkins and
Samuel Ward for delegates to that Congress towards which all eyes were
anxiously directed. Thus Rhode Island had been the first to propose a
Congress and the first to take action upon the proposal. In the same
session six resolutions were passed "counseling Union and an immediate
meeting of Congress to petition for redress, and to devise measures to
secure their rights." And as if they foresaw how entirely government
was passing away from the King and Parliament, they recommended also
that Congress should meet annually. Copies of these resolves were sent
to all the colonies.

On the 5th of September, 1774, Congress met in Philadelphia, and after
careful deliberation adopted a Declaration of Rights, and recommended
the formation of an "American Association," the chief articles of which
were "non-intercourse with Great Britain till their grievances should
be redressed, abolition of the slave trade, encouragement of home
industry, and the appointment of committees of inspection in every town
and district to see that its terms were kept inviolate." To these were
added "a petition to the King, letters to the other British colonies,
addresses to the Canadians and to the people of Great Britain, and
votes of thanks to the friends of America in Parliament." The tone
through all was decent, earnest and resolute. As they circulated
through the country the people felt that their convictions had been
faithfully represented.

In this agitated state of the popular mind a riot was stirred up in
Providence by the license question, and in East Greenwich by the Tory
question. The first was put down by the citizens, but the second called
for the intervention of the military.

The attention of the General Assembly was largely given to measures
of defence. The colonial fire-arms at Newport were distributed by
counties in proportion to their tax rate. Simeon Potter, of Bristol,
was chosen major-general, a new office created for the occasion and
subject to annual election. The militia law was carefully revised, and
provision made for the "manner in which the forces within this Colony
shall march to the assistance of any of our sister colonies if invaded
or attacked." The cannon and powder at Fort George were removed to
Providence for greater security and more convenient use. Independent
companies were formed and carefully trained. Among the Kentish Guards
were Nathanael Greene, the future liberator of the South; Christopher
Greene, the future hero of Red Bank; James M. Varnum, a future
brigadier, and others whose names reappear in higher grades as the
progress of the war brought superior merit to view. In Providence
County the militia was divided into three regiments under the command
of a brigadier.

Among the recommendations addressed by Congress to the people, was a
recommendation to stop the exportation of sheep to the West Indies,
for domestic manufactures were growing daily in importance and wool was
wanted for colonial looms. The recommendation was promptly acted upon,
and a temporary committee of inspection appointed to see it carried
out. The manufacture of fire-arms was successfully begun.

In February, 1773, the day for suspending the use of tea came. In
Providence three hundred pounds of it were publicly burned, the fire
being lighted with ministerial documents and other obnoxious papers.
While this was a doing by the "sons of liberty" in Market Square, some
other sons of liberty went round from store to store, effacing with
lamp-black the word tea on the signs.

In April there was a general muster of the militia, when it was found
that Providence County had two thousand infantry and a troop of horse
under arms, and Kent County nearly fifteen hundred. The returns of the
other counties have not been preserved.

The day of decision came. The battle of Lexington was fought. The
tidings reached Providence in the night. By the next day a thousand
armed men were on the road to Boston. But before they could reach it
expresses met them announcing the retreat Of the British.

The Assembly met. They voted to raise an Army of Observation of
fifteen hundred men, in spite of the protests of the Governor, the
Deputy-Governor and two assistants. Nathanael Greene and William
Bradford were appointed a committee to confer with the Assembly of
Connecticut about this raising of arms. The public ammunition was
distributed--to each town its proportion. For greater security it was
voted to hold the election session of the Assembly at Providence. A day
was set apart for fasting and prayer.

The May session for the election of officers came. The dividing line
between Whig and Tory was more sharply drawn. Several changes were
made in the board of assistants. Deputy-Governor Sessions gave place
to Nicholas Cooke. Governor Wanton himself was suspended for having in
various ways "manifested his intentions to defeat the good people of
these colonies in their present glorious struggle to transmit inviolate
to posterity those sacred rights they have received from their
ancestors." A Committee of Safety was appointed, which, with the two
highest military officers, was to superintend the paying and furnishing
the troops and direct their movements when called out of the Colony.
The public offices were removed to Providence.

"The army was formed into one brigade of three regiments, each regiment
consisting of eight companies, with a train of artillery." Of this
little army, called Army of Observation, Nathanael Greene, who had
never held military rank before, was placed in command with the rank of
brigadier-general. To anticipate jealousies of rank and position it
was provided that "each regiment should occupy the flanks in rotation."

Paper money with all its evils now became a necessity, and bills of
credit were issued to the amount of twenty thousand pounds. To give
them the character of an investment they were to bear an interest of
two and a half per cent., and be "redeemable by taxation at the end of
two and five years." An embargo was laid on provisions.

Another battle, the battle of Bunker Hill, was at hand. Collisions
between the King's troops and the people were frequent. By the 1st of
June nearly a thousand men of the Rhode Island Army of Observation
with their artillery were encamped on Jamaica Plains. The committees
of inspection for enforcing the American Association were very active.
Articles of war were framed. Tories were jealously watched. The
suspension of Governor Wanton was a bold step resolutely persevered in.
He attempted to explain and defend his conduct, but his explanations
were not accepted.

The persecutions of the Gaspee were renewed by Sir James Wallace,
Captain of the Rose frigate, and brought on an action between a tender
of the frigate and a colonial sloop commanded by Captain Abraham
Whipple. After some sharp firing on both sides, the tender was driven
ashore under Conanicut and captured. Wallace already owed Whipple
a grudge for his part in the burning of the Gaspee, and wrote him:
"You, Abraham Whipple, on the 10th of June, 1772, burned His Majesty's
vessel, the Gaspee, and I will hang you at the yard-arm. James
Wallace." To which Whipple replied: "To Sir James Wallace, Sir: Always
catch a man before you hang him. Abraham Whipple."

This was no longer a sudden uprising of popular indignation against
insufferable wrong, but a conflict between two regular armed
vessels--the first naval battle of the War of Independence. It led
directly to the equipping of two vessels, the Washington and the Katy,
for the defence of the Colony--the largest carrying ten four-pounders
and fourteen swivels, with a crew of eighty men--the smallest with
thirty men.

In this June session in which the foundations of the navy were laid,
William Goddard's postal system went into operation six weeks before
its adoption for all the colonies by Congress.

During this same eventful month of June the waters of Narragansett
Bay were the scene of another bold enterprise. The Rose frigate, Swan
sloop-of-war, and a tender were lying with five prizes in Newport
harbor. Other vessels came in sight and the royal squadron set out in
pursuit of them, following them up the bay and leaving the five prizes
unprotected. No sooner did the people of Newport see the opportunity
than they seized it, boarded the prizes and carried them off in

The next event of general interest was the battle of Bunker Hill. An
extra session of the Assembly was called. Committees were appointed to
take account of the arms and ammunition in the Colony and report it
to Congress. Saltpetre and brimstone were sent to the powder mills of
New York. Fort George was dismantled. A signal post was established
on Tower Hill, and a beacon at Providence, on Prospect Hill. The
Colony was put upon a war footing, every man able to bear arms being
required to hold himself in readiness for active service. A fourth
of the militia were held for minute men and drilled half a day every
fortnight. The independent companies were drilled with them. The Army
of Observation, which now numbered about seventeen hundred men, was
placed under the command of Washington. Everywhere were sights and
sounds of war.

The national fast day came, July 20th. From every pulpit, from
every family altar, rose fervent prayers for Almighty guidance and
protection. For Newport it was a day of terror, for Wallace, enraged at
the desertion of some of his men, threatened to bombard the town. Two
days he lay in position before it. On the third he sailed away.

Providence harbor was now fortified between Field and Sassafras Points,
and a battery of six eighteen-pounders erected on Fox Point. The Beacon
was proved and found to shed its light over an area extending from
Cambridge to New London and Norwich, and from Newport to Pomfret. All
through August the preparations for war continued. The live stock was
removed from Block Island and the islands of the bay. The incipient
navy was enlarged and the Rhode Island delegates in Congress instructed
"to use their whole influence for building at the Continental expense,
a fleet of sufficient force for the protection of these colonies, and
for employing them in such manner and places as will most effectually
annoy our enemies, and contribute to the common defence of these
colonies." This recommendation led to the appointment of a committee of
which Governor Hopkins and John Adams were members, and which presently
laid the foundation of the Continental Navy.

From time to time there were sudden alarms. Once it was given out that
Providence was to be attacked, and the works in the harbor were manned
and the troops called out. But Wallace, contenting himself with taking
a brig from the West Indies and plundering the shores, retired down
the bay. In October he was reinforced, and after holding Newport in
suspense bombarded Bristol. Domestic enemies also were to be guarded
against. George Rome reappears and is sent to Providence "to be dealt
with according to his demerits." Furnishing supplies to the enemy or
holding correspondence with them was made punishable with death and
forfeiture. Exception was made in favor of Newport on account of her
exposed situation. The sufferings of the poor both in Newport and on
the islands were so great that the Assembly found it necessary to come
to their assistance, helping some to move away and supplying others
with provisions. How business suffered may be seen by the repeal of
the statute of limitations. In November Governor Wanton was formally
removed from office and Nicholas Cooke elected in his stead. With the
burning of the Gaspee the sword was drawn, with the deposition of
Governor Wanton the scabbard was thrown away.

Meanwhile new emissions of bills of credit were made and the
overwhelming debt overwhelmingly increased. But it was no longer the
debt of a single colony but a part of the war debt of all the colonies,
and therefore Congress assumed forty-five thousand pounds of it as
such. Of this forty-five thousand pounds a hundred and twenty thousand
dollars were presently paid. One more battle was fought in Narragansett
Bay, and one more day set apart for fasting and prayer.

We have seen that Rhode Island had called for a navy. In November
Congress took the subject up, appointed a marine committee and voted
to arm and equip four vessels. Esek, brother of the Governor, was put
in command of them with the title of commodore. Two hundred and fifty
Rhode Islanders followed Arnold through the wilderness, and none of all
the invading army bore with greater fortitude the privations of the
weary march or fought more gallantly under the walls of Quebec than
Christopher Greene, Samuel Ward and Simeon Thayer, all of whom we shall
meet again on the ramparts of Red Bank. Over a hundred were sent to
Philadelphia under Captain Whipple, to serve in the new navy.

Meanwhile at Newport and on the islands the presence of the British
squadron held men in constant alarm. A considerable force was encamped
at Middletown, and a constant watch kept up to guard against the secret
machinations of the disaffected. Row gallies patrolled the bay and a
night guard was established. But in spite of every precaution the trees
were cut down on Hope Island, twelve dwelling houses were burned and
their occupants plundered on Conanicut, and the live stock carried
off wherever a secure landing could be effected. General Lee, who
had been sent from Cambridge to direct the fortifying of the island,
made his entrance into Newport at the head of eight hundred men, and
after imposing upon the suspected a comprehensive oath and giving
instructions for the erection of fortifications, returned to the army.
To express their sense of his services the Recess Committee voted "that
one of the best beds, with the furniture taken from Charles Dudley, be
presented to General Lee."

In the last days of December there was a riot in West Greenwich to
prevent the enlistment of minute men. In the middle of January there
was some sharp fighting on Prudence Island. In the course of the first
day the British, who had come up in twelve vessels, landed two hundred
and fifty men, drove off a body of a hundred minute men, burned seven
houses and carried away a hundred sheep. Next day reinforcements
arrived from Bristol and Warren and the fighting was renewed. This time
the victory was with the Americans, and after a battle of three hours
the enemy were driven to their ships with a loss of fourteen killed
and many wounded. War in one of its worst forms raged at all the most
vulnerable points of Narragansett Bay.

And thus the gloomy days went by, slowly but surely bringing nearer and
nearer the now inevitable problem of independence. Rhode Island, with
her hundred and thirty miles of coast line, her two navigable rivers,
and triple passage from the ocean, was in constant exposure. We have
seen how she was harassed by Wallace in January, 1776. In February
more houses and a windmill were burned and more stock plundered on
Prudence, and a descent for plunder made on Point Judith. With this
last the names of several persons suspected of being Tories were mixed
up, giving the Committee of Safety much to do. Difficulties between
the citizens of Newport and the soldiers under General West, encamped
on the island, arose in a measure from the same cause. West resigned
because men whom he had arrested as Tories had been set at liberty by
the Assembly. Among them was Governor Wanton.

The first act of the eventful drama closes with the evacuation of
Boston, on the 17th of March. For a day it was believed that the
British fleet was entering the bay, but the alarm proved false. The
American army went to New York, passing through Rhode Island on its

While these events, so grievous in the present, so full of a glorious
future, were passing, Samuel Ward, who had so nobly represented the
highest conscience and culture of Rhode Island in the Continental
Congress, was dying of small-pox in Philadelphia--the advanced post of
civil heroism. An upright and conscientious man, who had drawn from
books and men those lessons which make men wise in judgment and firm in
principle and bold in action. Had he lived a few weeks longer his name
would have been foremost among the signers. A marble monument was voted
him by Congress, "in testimony of the respect due to his memory, and in
grateful remembrance of his public services."

The last Colonial Assembly of Rhode Island met on the 1st of May.
On the 4th, two months before the Congressional Declaration of
Independence, it solemnly renounced its allegiance to the British
crown, no longer closing its session with "God save the King," but
taking in its stead as expressive of their new relations, "God save the
United Colonies."

                              CHAPTER XXV.


From the 4th of May, 1776, the Declaration of Independence of Rhode
Island, to the battle of Tiverton Heights, on the 29th of August, 1778,
she lived with the enemy at her door, constantly subject to invasion
by land and by water, and seldom giving her watch-worn inhabitants
the luxury of a quiet pillow. For months, as we already have seen,
British ships of war had infested her shores, driving off the stock,
plundering the inhabitants and burning their houses and barns. In
November a still greater calamity befell her, a British fleet took
possession of her waters, a British army of her principal island. The
seat of government was removed to Providence. The points most exposed
had already been fortified as well as the means and military science
of the Colony permitted. These were strengthened and other points
fortified. A battery was erected on the southern projection of Warwick
Neck, commanding the entrance of Coweset Bay. The women and children
of the seaboard towns were advised to take refuge in the interior.
The militia were called out. The troops on the island, about seven
hundred in number, were removed to the main land, part under Colonel
Cook taking post at Tiverton, part under General West at Bristol.
Massachusetts and Connecticut sent immediate aid to their imperilled
sister. And thus Rhode Island entered upon the humiliating life of a
district held by its enemy.

The story of these three years should either be told in detail, or told
very briefly. In detail it presents some striking pictures and some
important lessons. The pictures are for the chief part marine views,
most of the fighting having taken place on the water. The lessons
are to be found in the skill or want of skill with which legislation
adapted itself to new wants and new means. Our limits do not admit of
detail. We shall glean sparingly from the statute book.

The first duty of the Assembly was to draw out the resources of the
State and give them efficiency. The census of Providence in February
gave a return of four thousand three hundred and fifty-five souls,
with about five hundred stand of arms. Of this population one-sixth
were effective men. The other towns furnished their proportion, and
the distribution and equipment of them received the constant attention
of the Assembly and fills a large space in the schedules. In the new
arrangement of the Continental Army the three Rhode Island regiments
were formed into two battalions. We shall not attempt to follow
the schedule through the various changes which were made in the
quota furnished by Rhode Island to the main army. The fuller page of
history gives it a noble record, and the names of Christopher Greene,
of Angell, of Thayer, of the two Olneys, of Samuel Ward and their
companions, stand very high in the regimental history of the war.

Another subject which occupied from time to time the anxious attention
of the Assembly was the treatment of the small-pox. How could its
ravages be staid? How could the prejudice against inoculation, which
still prevailed so widely even among the intelligent and well informed,
be overcome? The question was brought before the Assembly in June,
when it was resolved, though not without opposition, to establish an
hospital for inoculation in each county. It was resolved also to ask
Congress to establish a uniform system of inoculation in the army and

There could no longer be any doubt as to the treatment of Tories.
Rhode Island was an independent state, and justifiable in employing,
to protect herself against treason, the same means which other
independent states employed. A test oath was framed, which all who were
suspected of Toryism were required to subscribe. Yet, even in this
dark day of trial she did not forget her fundamental principle, and
the conscientious scruples of the Quakers were respected. Commerce
was permitted with all parts of the world except England and her

The Declaration of Independence by Congress was received with general
satisfaction, and proclaimed with a national salute and military
display. At Providence the King's arms were burned, and the Legislature
assumed its legal title, "The State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations," and voted that "we do approve the said resolution, and
do most solemnly engage that we will support the said General Congress
with our lives and fortunes."

Congress, as we have seen, had voted to build a navy at the original
suggestion of Rhode Island, and directed that two of the thirteen
frigates that were to compose it should be built there. Ship building
was one of the arts to which the Colony had directed its attention
on its first planting, and Rhode Island workmen had grown skillful
therein. The direction first taken by her maritime enterprise was
privateering, which not only made the fortunes of individuals, but met
many wants which the regular commerce of the country was unable to
meet. To this great fleet Rhode Island contributed sixteen vessels,
manned by men in the prime of life, and animated by love of adventure,
love of country, and love of gain. Sometimes their numbers were kept
full at the expense of the army, and it was found necessary to lay a
general embargo till the Continental quotas were filled.

In December the Assembly met at Greenwich, but finding that place too
exposed, adjourned to Providence. The chief subject of discussion
was how to raise an army, and the New England States were invited to
send committees to Providence to concert some general plan of action.
The Recess Committee gave place to a Council of War, composed of ten
members. The dangerous system of short enlistments still prevailed and
a brigade of three regiments, two of infantry, each composed of seven
hundred and fifty men in eight companies, and one of artillery composed
of three hundred men in five companies, were voted for fifteen months.
The command was given to General Varnum, and Malmedy, a French officer,
recommended by General Lee, was appointed "Chief Engineer and Director
of the works of defence in this State, with the rank of Brigadier."
When brought to the test of enlistment its roll filled up very slowly.

The Convention of the Eastern States met in Providence. Each state was
represented by three delegates. Stephen Hopkins was chosen President.
After long and frequent consultations with the Assembly, it was
recommended that an army of six thousand men should be concentrated in
Rhode Island, of which Massachusetts was to furnish nineteen hundred
men, Connecticut eleven hundred, New Hampshire three hundred, and Rhode
Island eighteen hundred and a thousand Continental troops.

Other questions called for equal attention. Men no longer dared to
look to paper and a printing-press for their money, but to taxing
and borrowing. A loan of forty thousand pounds at five per cent.
was voted. But the borrowers were many, the lenders few, and taxes
hard to collect. With less wisdom it was voted to prevent monopolies
and regulate prices. All of these questions recur from time to time
till men grow weary of contending with the natural laws of trade.
Meanwhile the army was almost naked, and more than once on the brink of
starvation and mutiny. The plans of the convention for concentrating a
large force were never wholly carried out, and the army of the State,
like the army of Congress, was too often an army on paper.

Yet one great step was taken at the suggestion of General Varnum.
Colonel Christopher Greene, Lieutenant-Colonel Olney and Major Ward
were sent home to enlist a battalion of negroes for the Continental
service. When the question came before the Assembly in the form of a
resolution to enroll slaves, compensate their masters and give them
their freedom, it met with some opposition upon the ground that it
would be disapproved of in other states, that the masters would not be
satisfied with the compensation, and that there were not slaves enough
to make a regiment. But the wiser opinion prevailed, the regiment was
raised, and when the day of trial came the freedman proved himself an
excellent soldier.

In February, 1778, the Articles of Confederation were adopted, not as
perfectly satisfactory, but as the best that could be had. Certain
modifications were proposed. "Obtain them if you can," were the
instructions to the Rhode Island delegates, "but in all events sign the

In April came the happy tidings of the French alliance, joyfully
received everywhere with ringing of bells and firing of salutes and
military display. The 22d of April had been appointed for a fast day.
It was changed to a thanksgiving. The hopes of the country were raised
very high. "Surely," men said to one another, "now that France has
declared for us, the end must be near."

In May Governor Cooke, who had served diligently since the beginning of
the war, withdrew from his laborious office, and William Greene, son
of the late Governor Greene, was elected in his stead, and with such
general acceptance that he continued to be reëlected eight years in
succession. Four delegates instead of two were sent to Congress.

We have seen how the islands of the bay had suffered. In the same month
of May an expedition was sent by the British commander at Newport
against Warren and Bristol on the main. Three churches and several
private houses were burnt, and seventy flat-boats, together with the
galley Washington and a grist-mill, were destroyed. There was loss of
life and destruction of property, but not a step made towards the
decision of the contest. Soon after an attempt was made on Fall River,
but repulsed by the judicious choice of position and gallantry of
Colonel Joseph Durfee.

The presence of the enemy in Narragansett Bay was a constant menace to
the Eastern States, and to drive them out was the constant aim of the
commander of that department. Under General Spencer great preparations
had been made and great hopes entertained of success. But one of the
brigades failed to be up with their boats in time, and a second attempt
was prevented by the weather.

At last the favorable moment came. Sullivan, an active and intelligent
officer, was in command of the Continental forces, and the coöperation
of D'Estaing with the French fleet was secured. On the 29th of July
twelve French ships of the line and four frigates arrived off Newport.
The English were effectually blockaded, driven from their outposts, and
compelled to destroy their vessels.

Preparations were made for an immediate advance. At no period of the
war had greater enthusiasm prevailed. Volunteers came pouring in from
Boston, Salem, Newburyport, Portsmouth--not merely those whom pay or
bounty could call out, but men of wealth and position. John Hancock
led the militia of Massachusetts. Greene and Lafayette came on from
the main army. By the 8th of August Sullivan found himself at the
head of ten thousand men. The right wing took post at Tiverton. The
French fleet under D'Estaing held the outer harbor. The morning of the
10th was fixed upon for the attack. On the 8th the fleet ran up the
middle passage in face of a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, and
secured the command of the bay. Sir Robert Pigot drew in his forces and
stationed them in strong positions near the town. They numbered about
six thousand in all.

Sullivan seeing that the British commander had abandoned his strong
works at the head of the island, thought that no time was to be lost
in securing them, and without waiting for the day agreed upon with
the French admiral, set his right wing under Greene, in motion on the
morning of the 9th and began to cross over to the island. D'Estaing
felt the breach of etiquette, but had little time to dwell upon it.
For about two in the afternoon a fleet of nearly twenty-five sail came
in sight, standing in for Newport. It was the fleet of Lord Howe. He
lay to off Point Judith for the night, and next morning began a trial
of seamanship with D'Estaing for the weather-gage. The Englishman
stood out to sea; a sudden change of wind enabled the Frenchman to
follow him, and the whole of the first day and part of the second
were passed in manoeuvring. Meanwhile the wind kept rising, and
in a few hours it blew a gale. Soon it was no longer a question of
victory, but of life. The work of destruction by mortal hands ceased.
The big ships were tossed helplessly about by the yawning billows. The
invisible winds snapped the strong masts--once the pride of centennial
forests--asunder. The Languedoc, with her ninety guns, the French
admiral's own ship, lost masts and rudder. The shattered fleets made
their way to port as best they might, the English to New York, the
French to Newport, with occasional encounters on their way.

The tempest had raged with as much violence on shore as at sea. Nothing
could withstand its rage. Trees were torn up by the roots. Tent poles
were snapped asunder like reeds. Marquees were torn and dashed to
the ground. The rain fell in torrents, swelling the brooks till they
overflowed their banks and spread over the fields in ponds and pools.
Men crouched under the stone walls. When the tempest ceased, horses and
men were found dead together. Then was the time for Pigot to draw out
his men from their snug quarters in the town and lead them against the
exhausted Americans. The American general feared this, and anxiously
watched the dangerous hours go by. But the Englishman let slip the
golden occasion and it never returned.

It was not without many misgivings that Sullivan had seen the French
fleet make sail and stand out to sea. But D'Estaing had pledged
himself to return, and when on the 20th a swift frigate, and soon the
Languedoc herself, hove in sight, he dispatched Greene and Lafayette
to confer with the French admiral and his officers and secure their
coöperation. But whatever D'Estaing's own wishes may have been, his
officers, who were jealous of him as a landsman, pointed to his
instructions and called upon him to repair to Boston. The Americans
felt themselves deserted, for it was only by the aid of the fleet that
the town could be taken. "There never," they said, "was a prospect so
favorable blasted by such a shameful desertion."

Still Sullivan resolved to persevere in his attempt, and giving partial
vent to his indignation in the order of the day, took up a position
within three miles of the town and began to erect batteries. It was
soon evident that it would be hazardous to attempt to hold it. On the
28th it was resolved to fall back and establish a fortified camp at the
north end of the island. But already the army was melting away. Three
thousand militiamen and volunteers went off in twenty-four hours, and
presently the assailants scarcely outnumbered the assailed. The British
fleet also would soon be back, while the French fleet could no longer
be counted upon. D'Estaing indeed gallantly offered to bring up his
land forces to the support of his allies. But now the only question was
how to retreat without loss. A sharp battle was fought on the 29th, in
which both sides contended obstinately for the victory. Then in the
night, men, baggage, artillery and stores, were transported across the
ferry without the loss of a man or beast, or a single munition of war.

                             CHAPTER XXVI.


The Americans were sorely disappointed. They had taken up their arms
with such confidence of success that they could not bear to lay them
down with so little done. Their murmurs were loud and deep. Some were
ready to lay all the blame upon their allies. Nothing but the good
sense of Greene and the good feeling and generous nature of Lafayette
could have prevented an outbreak. The old leaven of English animosity
toward France still lay deeply rooted in the colonial heart. It was an
unfortunate beginning of the alliance that was to give them victory.

For still another year the principal island of Narragansett Bay was to
remain in the hands of British soldiers, and its other islands and the
shores of its mainland lie exposed to the ravages of British cruisers.
It was a year of suffering. There was no more fighting in regular
battles, no more laying siege by regular advances, but many plundering
excursions for the wanton waste of property and the wicked waste of
life. Houses were burnt from mere wantonness; woods and orchards cut
down to serve for fire-wood, and for this the cold winter furnished a
good excuse; but when at last the enemy withdrew, little was left of
the sylvan beauty of Narragansett Bay.

The adventurous fighting was chiefly done on the water, and the hero of
it was Silas Talbot, of Providence. Talbot had already distinguished
himself early in the war, both on land and on the water. Nothing suited
his adventurous spirit so well as the leadership in enterprises which
to other men seemed hopeless, and his judgment and skill equaled his
daring. Of these bold exploits one of the boldest was the capture
of the Pigot galley, a vessel of three hundred tons, mounting eight
twelve-pounders, protected by strong boarding nettings and manned by
forty-five men. The force with which Talbot took her was a small sloop
carrying two three-pounders and manned for the occasion by sixty men.
As a recognition of his gallantry Congress sent him a commission of
lieutenant-colonel, and not long after that of captain in the navy.

Among the miseries of these years was a scarcity of food, almost
amounting to a famine. Speculation was active and remorseless,
getting control of the market and growing rich on human suffering.
An appeal was made to Connecticut for a suspension of her embargo on
provisions in favor of Rhode Island. The question how to counteract
"engrossers and forestallers," was one of the most difficult questions
which Congress and state legislatures and special conventions were
called upon to meet. Two thousand helpless poor were scattered
through the State, dependent upon public and private charity for
bread. Five hundred pounds were voted for the relief of the poor of
Newport. The appeal to Connecticut for a relaxation of her embargo
was met by permission to export seven thousand bushels of grain,
and a recommendation of a general contribution by her citizens. The
recommendation called forth gifts of four thousand three hundred
pounds in money, and five hundred bushels of grain. The recommendation
was extended through Congress to other states, and South Carolina
assumed through her delegates fifty thousand dollars of Rhode Island's
Continental quota.

It was in this year also that the storm, long known as the Hessian
storm, from the number of those wretched mercenaries who perished in
it, occurred. Sentinels froze at their posts--some were suffocated by
the whirling snow. The roads were blocked up by it. Never had such a
storm been known.

New taxes were regularly called for and voted, both for Continental
and State expenses. But the currency was deranged and the sources from
whence taxes were drawn well nigh exhausted. The treasury was empty. To
enlist a new brigade,--the term of the old one having run out,--it was
found necessary to borrow twelve thousand pounds from Connecticut for
a month. There was not time yet for constitutional reforms, although
attention was frequently called to the inequality of representation.
But the more important reforms were the reforms of the army, and the
great event of 1779 was the introduction of Steuben's Tactics.

The derangement of the currency made itself felt everywhere. Colonel
Crary, of the First State Infantry, an excellent officer, was compelled
to throw up his commission because he could not support his family on
his pay. With many others it was merely a question of time--whether
they should resign at once or wait a little longer till they were
ruined utterly. As paper depreciated taxes were increased. Confidence,
the basis of national prosperity, was gone. In June, 1778, two heavy
taxes were levied, one of two hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds
for Congress, and one of sixty thousand pounds for the State. Almost
the only channel through which goods and money still continued to come
was through privateers.

The vital question was the question of finance. Congress appealed
to the states and the states to the towns. A convention met at East
Greenwich and attempted to fix upon a maximum scale of prices for
articles of consumption. The establishment of rates for labor and board
and manufactures, was left with the towns. The fatal effects of a false
system of political economy fell heavily upon both town and country.
Trading in gold and silver was discouraged and desperate efforts made
to relieve the country from the pressure of present debt; but the root
of the evil lay too deep, and bankruptcy was already at the door.

One act, however, of these days of trial, we can still dwell upon with
satisfaction. In spite of the manumission act an attempt was made
to sell some slaves to the South. The Assembly interfered for their
protection and forbade the sale.

The Greenwich Convention had left its work unfinished. A new convention
was called in September to finish it, and every effort was made
to raise the loan recommended by Congress. At the suggestion of
Massachusetts a convention of the five Eastern States was called to
meet at Hartford and take these difficult questions into consideration.
And thus the days and months passed away, monotonously sad, with
little of present enjoyment and still less of promise for the future.
Men lived like those who carry their lives in their hands and have no
hold on the morrow. At last the long looked for day came. Fifty-two
transports entered Newport harbor and immediately the work of
embarkation began. Six thousand men with their baggage and military
stores and a melancholy train of Tories were to bid goodbye to their
pleasant quarters. When all was ready the inhabitants were forbidden to
venture into the streets on pain of death, and the march to the place
of embarkation at Brenton's Point began. Then was heard for the last
time in the streets of Newport the British drum and the measured tread
of an enemy's march. All day long the boats were plying to and fro, and
at sunset the fleet set sail. Forty-six Tories, with such property as
they could carry, and a large band of liberated slaves went with it.
The last act of the troops was to burn the barracks at Brenton's Point
and the light-house at Beaver Tail. When the inhabitants began to look
about them and count their losses, they found that over five hundred
houses had been destroyed and property to the value of nearly one
hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds ruined in the Town of Newport
alone. The population had been reduced by more than half, and among the
emigrants were the Lopez, and Hays, and Riveiras, and Touros, rich and
enterprising Jews. One outrage it is difficult to explain, the robbery
of the town records, which were put on board one of the transports
and sent to New York. This alone would have been a great injury, for
they contained the history of the Colony from its foundation, and as
parts of that history the record of sales and grants of land. But to
complete the loss the vessel on board which they had been put sunk in
the passage of Hell Gate, and it was not till they had lain three years
in the water that they were recovered. Parts only were legible.

The Assembly which met on the very day of the evacuation, found much to
do. Many expenses which the presence of the enemy had made necessary,
ceased. The coast-guard was dismissed. The ferries from Newport to
South Kingstown were reöpened. The four island towns resumed their
charter administration. The non-intercourse act was repealed, and New
Shoreham restored to the exercise of her corporate rights. To meet the
embargos laid by the neighboring states, an embargo was laid upon all
articles of exportation. The militia was reörganized. In August acts
had been brought in confiscating the property of Tories, and forbidding
the sale of slaves out of the State against their will. They were
passed in October.

We come now, and reluctantly, to a disgraceful page of our annals,
the Revolutionary debt of Rhode Island. In the December session of
1779, the State acknowledging "the proved fidelity, firmness and
intrepidity in service, of its soldiers," pledged itself through its
constitutionally elected representatives, to make good at the close of
the war, "to them or their legal representatives, the wages of the
establishment of Congress, wherever they engaged." Upon the strength of
this solemn engagement many of the men and officers of the three Rhode
Island regiments of the line, whose terms of service were about to
expire, reënlisted for the war.

This pledge was broken, leaving an ineffaceable stain upon the shield
of Rhode Island. Nor does it lighten the disgrace to say that other
states also were untrue to their pledges. Other states persecuted for
opinion, but in this Rhode Island did not follow their example.

A bitter winter followed the evacuation. The bay was blocked up with
ice. Seaward the ice extended as far as eye could reach. Government had
to come to the relief of the starving and freezing poor. Corn cost four
dollars a bushel, potatoes two--famine prices, as prices ordinarily

We have marked the first appearance of the _Newport Mercury_. During
the three years of British occupation it was published at Rehoboth, but
at the evacuation was brought back to Newport, and resumed its original
influence under the editorship of Henry Barber.

As time wore on things gradually assumed a more hopeful aspect. In
April, 1779, Lafayette returned from France with the cheering assurance
that a French fleet would soon follow him. Preparations for effective
coöperation immediately began. The militia was called out for three
months. Rhode Island's quota of men was one regiment of six hundred
and thirty men; of supplies, seventy one thousand six hundred and
seventy-five pounds of beef, thirty hogsheads of rum, and twenty-two
hundred and eighty-five bushels of forage grain; of transportation, two
hundred draft horses.

The promptness with which the little State met the heavy calls upon her
limited resources was warmly acknowledged by Washington in a letter to
Governor Greene. And at the same time one of her regiments was winning
high honor at Springfield, under the guidance of one of her best
officers, Israel Angell.

The arrival of the French fleet and army under Ternay and Rochambeau
was the signal for universal rejoicing. The hopes and confidence of the
first year of the alliance were revived. But this time the efforts of
the combined forces were to be directed against the enemy's strongest
post--New York itself. Some apprehensions were still felt from the
secret machinations of the Tories, and an act was passed banishing them.

Meanwhile preparations were made for quartering and feeding the troops.
In Providence, University Hall was set apart for a hospital. The
barracks at Tiverton and a farm near Bristol were assigned to them for
the same purpose, and Pappoosquash Point was given to them for a burial

To meet the expenses imposed by these preparations new taxes were
assessed, founded upon a new estimate of taxable property, and designed
to sink the remaining portion of the State's quota of old Continental
bills and meet present and future expenses. Taken altogether the taxes
voted in the July session of 1780, reduced to a specie standard,
amounted to one hundred and twenty-six thousand three hundred and
sixty-nine dollars and fifty cents. It was a heavy burden, and the good
spirit with which the people bore it showed how thoroughly their hearts
were enlisted in the cause of their country.

But suddenly there was a new alarm. An English fleet of sixteen ships
of war appeared in the offing, staid just long enough to spread a
general apprehension of invasion, and after a second alarm took up its
station in Long Island Sound and blockaded the French from the sure
position of Gardiner's Island. Thus for a time French coöperation once
more failed.

In September the Assembly met in Newport, the first time in four years.
The State House had been used by the British for a hospital, and
all the churches except Trinity for barracks. The Assembly held its
sessions in the Redwood Library.

Money was still the primary object of attention. Congress called on the
states for three millions of dollars. For the first time Rhode Island
was unable to meet her portion. She had also a large proportion of the
French troops to provide for, whose headquarters were at Newport, where
Rochambeau established himself in the Vernon House, which still bears
his name. But the French brought hard money with them, and spent it

In December Ternay, the French admiral, died, without having had an
opportunity of doing any thing important for his allies. His tomb is
still seen in Trinity church-yard.

We enter upon 1781, the decisive year of the war--and decisive also
by its political significance. Connecticut and Virginia ceded their
western lands to the Union, and Greene's successes in the South, and
Washington's capture of Yorktown, virtually put an end to the war.
In the same year the confederation was completed by the accession of
Maryland. Rhode Island could not perform all her federate duties as
heretofore, but the presence of the French fleet made her for a while
an object of especial interest. Her daily quota of supplies was two
thousand rations of fresh beef, besides rum and other stores.

In the same year she lost by surprise two of her best soldiers, Colonel
Christopher Greene and Major Ebenezer Flagg, both distinguished by
their part in the defence of Red Bank, in 1777. Peace was at hand, and
with peace a new experiment in political life. The confederation had
been tried in war and found wanting. How would it meet the requirements
of peace?

                             CHAPTER XXVII.


Great were the rejoicings over the surrender of Cornwallis--public
balls, firing of cannon and display of fire-works--for close upon that
surrender came the longed for peace. As a more enduring expression
of gratitude to the man who had led in this great work, the Assembly
decreed that "in order to obliterate, as may be, every trace and idea
of that government which threatened our destruction ... the same
county, (King's), shall forever hereafter be known and distinguished by
the name and style of Washington."

And soon the war-worn troops who had so gallantly borne their part in
the burthen and heat of the day, came home rejoicing in their victory,
but trembling for their future. Then came pressing the urgent questions
of the hour, and first of all the question of finance. The Bank of
North America had been established to strengthen the hands of the
superintendent of finance, though not enough to make him listen to the
appeal of Rhode Island to be allowed to pay part of her quota in army
supplies. To ascertain on what ground the State stood for taxation a
new census was ordered, which gave fifty-one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-nine for the whole number of inhabitants, Newport returning
five thousand five hundred and thirty-one, and Providence four thousand
three hundred and ten. A new estimate of taxable property also was
made, which was found to amount to nearly three millions of pounds in
lawful money. Taxation had borne heavily upon this capital, but with
peace war expenditures ceased, and productive industry began to return
to its natural channels.

And very soon a Federal question arose. Congress resolved to levy an
import duty of five per cent., but could not do it without the consent
of the states. Here dawns upon us the question of state rights, soon
to assume a more menacing aspect and delay for years Rhode Island's
entrance into the Union. Nearly all the states but Rhode Island had
given their consent to it, but she foresaw in it future danger to her
liberties and persisted in her refusal. Two of her delegates, Howell
and Ellery, held out vigorously against it. "Howell undertook to prove
that the State, by adopting the impost, would lose four-fifths of its
revenue collected upon it. Mr. Ellery went upon the common danger of
altering the constitution, and frightened the people with the loss of

Varnum and Marchant used many arguments "to remove these prejudices,
but to little purpose. The general spoke two hours and a half; his
arguments were learned, sensible and conclusive; but they were
unavailing." Such were the reasonings in the Rhode Island Assembly.
"The truth of the matter is," wrote General Greene, "a large majority
of the members are incompetent judges of so complicated a question....
What is to become of us and our national honor God only knows. No
people ever had brighter prospects shaded so unexpectedly."

In the midst of these exciting discussions it is pleasant to see what
early attention was given to education. The college returned to the use
for which it was built, and in September, 1782, seven students received
their degrees.

In that same year and month died Nicholas Cooke, who had filled the
Governor's chair so worthily at the beginning of the war. More than
once before peace was declared an armed enemy was seen in Narragansett
Bay. Two vessels were cut out of Newport harbor in the night by Tory
privateers, and at another time an armed party took possession of Hope
Island and held it for several days. One of the most menacing signs
of these troubled times, was the armed resistance to the collection
of taxes which had threatened Massachusetts with civil war, but was
sternly put down. Yet even when the strong arm of the law was raised to
enforce, they who wielded it most firmly could not but feel that there
was much ground for complaint.

I shall not attempt to follow step by step the progress of Rhode Island
in her return to the life and arts of peace. New laws were called for
and made. New fields of enterprise were opened and entered upon. The
errors of the past were to be bitterly atoned for. But her resources
were great, her will strong, and her courage unabated. From the mass of
detail I select a few characteristic points.

The financial embarrassment made itself felt everywhere, endangering
contracts, paralyzing industry and checking enterprise, and undermining
both public and private credit. Eight millions were required for the
Federal quotas of 1782. Less than half a million had been collected.
Four states had paid nothing, nine next to nothing. The impost act
failed, and Howell, who by his opposition to it had made himself
numerous enemies in Congress, had greatly added to his influence at
home. Rhode Island was looked up to as the champion of state rights.
With time she will grow wiser.

We have seen that slavery became the subject of legislation at an
early period of our annals. It reappeared at the return of peace, when
gradual emancipation was minutely provided for, and the introduction of
"slaves for sale under any pretext whatever, forbidden."

Among the purely local acts was the incorporation of Newport, and the
regulation of the Pawcatuck fishery, and an attempt to annex Potowomut
to East Greenwich. Among those which belong to the history of thought
was that by which Sabbatarians were "allowed to pursue their usual
avocations on Sunday." Among those that bore directly upon business was
the revival of the statute of limitations, and an act for encouraging
the manufacture of certain articles of general demand. Patents and
copyright laws followed soon after the adoption of the Constitution,
though not with a full recognition of an author's right to the product
of his brain. For the support of government a tariff act was passed.

But the most historically interesting act of the February session of
1783 was the enabling act, by which the original harmony between the
digests and the charter was restored. Into these digests, but when or
how nobody could tell, the phrases: "Roman Catholics excepted," and
"professing Christianity," had been interpolated in direct violation
of the royal charter. Neither under Charles nor under James could
this have been done. But in 1696 a plot against William had been
discovered, which led to the formation of "associations of loyalty"
in all the colonies but Rhode Island. Practically, the exception had
no effect, and Catholics and Jews were admitted to the full rights of
citizenship as they had always been. But as an historical question it
is pleasant to know that the principle of universal toleration was
never practically violated in the home of Roger Williams.

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.


The question of finance meets us at every turn, and in every phase
bears fatal witness to the demoralizing effects of paper money
unsustained by hard money capital. At the Spring election of 1786,
the triumph of the paper money party was complete. A new bank was
established of a hundred thousand pounds. And soon a Forcing Act became
necessary to give the bills currency under heavy penalties. A complete
stagnation of business presently followed. The old hostility between
town and country revived. Commerce was suspended. Shops were closed.
The farmers who had mortgaged their farms for the bills, found that
they had got nothing but bits of paper in return for fruitful acres.
To retaliate upon the tradesmen they refused to bring their produce to
market. The necessaries of life fell short and much suffering ensued.
In Providence a town meeting was held to devise a remedy, and it was
resolved that the farmers should be left to make their own bargains,
and that to relieve the immediate demand five hundred dollars should
be borrowed and sent abroad to buy corn for the sufferers. At Newport
an attempt was made to force the bills upon the grain dealers, which
led to a riot. At a meeting in South Kingstown farmers were advised to
break off their intercourse with the merchants.

A convention of the country towns of Providence County was held at
Scituate and adjourned to meet the State convention at East Greenwich.
Sixteen towns were represented and resolved "to support the acts of the
General Assembly," and enforce the penal acts in favor of paper money.
Providence was represented by five of its best and most popular men,
but they were powerless against the torrent.

When the question came before the Assembly a new Forcing Act was
passed, in which the right to trial by jury was withheld and all the
common forms of justice violated. The protest of the indignant minority
was refused a place on the records; and pushing their recklessness
to the utmost, the triumphant majority enacted that the arrears of
Continental taxes might be paid in the new bills, and proposed a system
by which all trade was to be carried on by a committee in the name
of the State. This, however, was a step too far even for these wild
schemers, and when the Force Act was brought to trial, it was condemned
by a full bench as unconstitutional.

But the Assembly persevered, summoned the judges to answer fofr their
interference, and under the name of Test Act passed a new Forcing
Act more outrageous than the last. It was something like a pause in
this reckless career that the new act was referred to the towns for
discussion. Only three towns accepted it. An attempt at conciliation

The lowest deep of financial degredation was reached when the treasurer
was ordered to pay one-fourth part of the State debt in the bills
received for taxes. Never had party spirit assumed so dangerous a form.
Among the bad doings of the Assembly was the resumption of the charter
of Newport.

It was at this critical moment, when rents were paid in corn and trade
seemed about to return to its original form of barter, that the first
spinning-jenny in the United States was constructed by Daniel Jackson,
of Providence, and the foundations of Rhode Island's manufacturing
prosperity securely laid. History is full of compensations.

We reach the beginning of a still greater struggle. The convention
that was to transform the Confederation into a Union was to meet in
May. Should Rhode Island be represented in it? Those who had faith in
the Confederation, and there were many such, believed that with some
amendments it might be made to answer all the purposes of a stable
government. Those who were more impressed with its weakness called
for a thorough and radical change. The first, who in the sequel were
known as States Rights men, were also the advocates of paper money. The
second, the Federalists of a later day, were in favor of hard money.
The motion to send delegates was lost, and another step taken towards
repudiation. "All holders of State securities were required to present
them to the treasurer within six weeks and receive five shillings in
the pound thereupon, or to forfeit that amount, and interest was to
cease immediately upon the rising of the Assembly. The paper was now
passing at the rate of six dollars in paper for one in silver." Never
had the honor of the State been so imperilled. Fortunately, though, the
Assembly was divided, the courts were firm, and it was only by removing
four judges out of five that a decision in favor of paper payments
was obtained. Meanwhile the bills continued to fall, and soon reached
eight for one. But the moral sense of the community was not altogether
stifled. Some churches refused to receive as communicants men who paid
their debts in paper.

But soon all questions became absorbed in the question of the
acceptance or rejection of the Convention. In the Senate it was voted
to send delegates, but the bill was lost in the House, whose action
was defended by a State Rights letter, setting forth the doctrine of
popular sovereignty and "the entire subserviency of the legislature
to the public will." None but the people could send delegates to a

Meanwhile, the Convention, with Washington at its head, and Franklin,
Hamilton and Madison among its working members, had reached the end
of its arduous labors. The next step was to submit it to the people.
The Assembly met and a bill was introduced for printing it for
distribution, and appointing delegates as recommended by the Convention
itself. The last was voted down by a large majority. The fruit was not
yet ripe. But a resolve to print a thousand copies for distribution was
agreed to, and thus the question was brought squarely before the people.

And now for three years it was the chief question in all public
meetings, and was sure to come in either directly or indirectly
wherever two or three met together for business or for pleasure. The
merchants accepted it cheerfully, for they saw progress and development
and protection in it. But it was opposed by the farmers, who saw in it
a sacrifice of the rights of the State. Rhode Island had stood alone
so long, had been so firm and self-reliant through the dark days of
her long contest with Massachusetts and Connecticut, that she failed
to see how completely the relations of the colonies to each other were
changed, when from colonies they became states. There was no place for
independent states in the domain occupied by a Federal Union.

The first to accept the Constitution was Delaware. Pennsylvania came
next, and then New Jersey. The opening of 1788 was marked by the
accession of Georgia. Connecticut followed close. In Massachusetts
the contest was long and bitter. In June New Hampshire gave in her

We have seen in what a dark hour Rhode Island first turned her
attention to cotton spinning. In this hour of even deeper gloom she
first opened a direct trade with India. About the same time a rolling
and a slitting-mill was established near Providence. Women of all
classes met together to spin flax, and men of all classes took pride in
wearing homespun. Nor was the promise of navigation less. Providence
already counted a hundred and ten sail in her waters, exclusive of
river craft. In spite of all her errors her faith in the future was

Meanwhile the contest continued. Town was arrayed against country, the
States Rights men still holding the majority in the Assembly, although
in Providence the Federalists were strongest. The tidings of New
Hampshire's acceptance was received with exultation. The Constitution
was sure. In Providence it was resolved to unite the celebration of the
Fourth of July with that of the completion of the National Union. The
States Rights men took this for an intentional insult and marched upon
the town. Nothing but the good sense of the leaders prevented a bloody
collision. The rejoicings it was agreed, were for the Declaration of
Independence, not for the Declaration of the Union. Then from five to
six thousand people sat down in a tent a thousand feet long to feast
upon a sumptuous banquet, the most attractive part of which was an ox
roasted whole. On the very next day came tidings from Virginia. She
also had accepted the Constitution. New York followed and then North
Carolina, and the warmest enthusiasm welcomed each new declaration of
acceptance. But a bitter party spirit still held Rhode Island back.

Thus month followed month. New assemblies and new town meetings came
together and fought over the same ground. In all the other states
of the old thirteen the Constitution had been accepted, and was in
successful operation. It was clear that Rhode Island could not long
preserve her insulation. She was already compelled to ask vital favors
of the Union, and petition Congress to exempt her commerce from paying
duties in Union ports. For a while Congress bore with her and granted
her prayer. Slowly but surely the decisive day drew nigh. All the
artifices of parliamentary tactics were brought into play. In the midst
of intense excitement and by the casting vote of Governor Collins, it
was decided on the Sabbath morning of January 17th, 1790, to call a
convention. But even in the convention the friends of the Constitution
were in a minority. The familiar ground was to be fought over again
with no less bitterness than in the beginning. Loud murmurs came from
Congress. Shall this little strip of land prevent us from completing
a union so full of promise? Louder still were the murmurs from the
seats of commerce--Providence and Newport. We will break away from
these impracticable men and go into the Union alone with our ships and
our spinning-jennies. A coalition ticket was formed. So great was the
eager crowd, in which each man had his opinion, that the State House
was found too small to hold them, and the convention was compelled
to adjourn to the Second Baptist Church. It still took three days
more before a vote was reached; and then, at five o'clock of Saturday
afternoon, on the 29th of May, 1790, Rhode Island declared her adhesion
to the Union.

                             CHAPTER XXIX.


We have followed with as much detail as our limits would permit, the
history of Rhode Island through the various phases of her colonial
life. Before we enter upon the story of her development as a member
of a great Union, we propose to bring together a few facts from the
imperfect record of her social and domestic life, and endeavor to form
for ourselves some idea of what manner of men and women our fathers
and mothers were, and what kind of lives they led. Incomplete as our
materials for such a picture are, there is still enough to be found in
those sources from which history loves to draw to bring us very near to
the life of those days.

And to begin with the soil; the inland in the beginning of English
colonization was a vast forest, dotted with ponds of fresh water and
watered by numerous rivers. In this forest the natives themselves had
begun the work of clearing, and drawn between it and the sea a belt of
arable land from eight to ten miles in depth, on which they planted
their favorite food--the nutritious maize. The waters abounded with
fish, the woods with game. The animals most to be feared were the
wild-cat and the wolf--the most sought after by the hunter, the deer.
In the earliest commercial intercourse of Indian and white man, the
medium was maize.

There were no carriages nor carriage roads. All traveling was on foot
or horseback, and when the first English settlement began, in almost
every twenty miles you would find an Indian village.

As the soil came under more skillful cultivation and the colonist
took the place of the Indian in field work, the harvests became more
abundant, and the rich grasses which grew as high as the tops of the
fences, became very valuable as butter and cheese. Thus farming was
carried on on a large scale, and dairy farms gave employment to many
hands. The Stanton farm was four miles long by two miles wide, and was
cultivated by forty horses and forty slaves. The Champlin farm was a
tract of a thousand acres, feeding thirty-five horses, fifty-five cows,
from six to seven hundred sheep, and slaves enough to tend and utilize
them all. Robert Hazard owned sixteen hundred acres on Boston Neck,
and several thousand on the west side of the Pettaquamscot River. On
one of these farms grazed a hundred and ten cows, two hundred loads of
hay were cut, thirteen thousand pounds of cheese were made, and from
seventy to eighty pounds of butter. The products on which all this
labor was bestowed, were corn, tobacco, cheese and wool. The work was
done by slaves and Indians. The cheese resembled in flavor and color
the rich Cheshire cheese of England. Some attention was also given to
fattening bullocks and raising horses, and cutting hay and grain for
the West Indies.

On Isaac P. Hazard's farm twelve negro women were employed in making
cheese, each woman having a girl under her and making from twelve to
twenty-four cheeses a day. So rich and luxuriant was the grass that his
hundred and fifty cows gave double the quantity of milk that cows give
on the same farms now. Four thousand sheep furnished the materials for
the woolen cloths of his numerous household, and extensive hemp fields
the linen, both being woven in his own looms. This Hazard, when years
came upon him, gave over the management of his estate into the hands of
his children, and congratulated himself that he thenceforth had only
seventy mouths to provide for between parlor and kitchen.

Traveling, as I have already stated, was on horseback, and a servant
well mounted always went with the master to open the gates. The roads
were mere driftways. A generous hospitality left the inns to justices'
courts, town councils and tipplers. The guest chamber was seldom empty,
and the fireside all the more cheerful for the face of a stranger.

Public provisions for education were insufficient. Their place was
supplied for boys by private tutors, or by board in the family of a
learned clergyman to prepare them for college. The girls were sometimes
sent to Boston to study accomplishments. They loved reading, each
generation having its favorite in verse and in prose. Of those nearest
to us Pope was the poet. Private libraries were numerous and well
selected, though not large.

Amusements took their character from country life. The young men loved
races on the beach with their Narragansett pacers, and a silver tankard
for the winner. They all loved quahaug roasts on the shores, where deep
beds of shells still remain to bear witness to their festivities. They
loved to hunt the fox and the deer with hound and horn, and exercise
their skill in starting and following up the partridge and woodcock and
quail. They would lie on the frozen ground in the cold winter dawn to
get a shot at a duck or a wild goose and trap the timid rabbit in snow.
No hardship was too great that brought them to their game. In May they
went in merry parties to Hartford to eat bloated salmon.

In such a state of society weddings were great festivals, and more
especially for the display of dress. The bride came robed in stiff
brocade with towering head dress and high heeled shoes. The bridegroom,
in scarlet coat, his limbs clad in small-cloths and silken hose, with
laced ruffles on his wrists, and brilliant buckles on his shoes, and
his hair curled and frizzled, or suspended behind in a queue. Friends
and kindred came from far and near, sometimes as many as six hundred
being gathered to witness the nuptial rites and join in the wedding

But the great pastime for young and old, for matron and maid and
for youth just blushing into manhood, was the autumn husking, when
neighbors met at each other's corn-yards to husk each other's corn;
sometimes husking a thousand bushels in a single meeting. Husking had
its laws, and never were laws better obeyed. For every red ear the
lucky swain could claim a kiss from every maid; with every smoot ear he
smooched the faces of his mates amid laughter and joyous shoutings; but
when the prize fell to a girl she would walk the round demurely, look
each eager aspirant in the face, and hide or reveal the secret of her
heart by a kiss. Then came the dance and supper, running deep into the
night and often encroaching upon the early dawn.

I have spoken of slavery and the repeated attempts Rhode Island made to
shake it off. The number of slaves was not large, and for the most part
they were treated kindly. Still servitude implied degradation, and the
habit of looking down upon human beings could not but react unfavorably
upon the character and habits of the masters themselves. It was a
softening of their lot that in the regular festivals the negroes had
their share, their dances and their suppers, and even their elections,
when they elected and installed their governor, and feasted luxuriously
at the expense of their masters.

                              CHAPTER XXX.


Rhode Island came well prepared to her new duties. She had worked
out in her own experience the most important problems of civil
organization, rendering "unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and
unto God the things that are God's." Her legislation was the reflection
of her culture, and her statute book the record of her progress in
the science of self-government. Her colonial life had been a constant
struggle with jealous neighbors who coveted her beautiful bay and
detested her "soul liberty." Out of this struggle she came stronger
and more resolute for the discipline it gave her, yet not without some
marks of the strife. She had learned to apprehend danger from afar off
and cultivate jealousy as a safeguard, and hence she sometimes as in
her refusal to grant the impost duty, was guided by a keen sense of
her rights as a sovereign state, rather than a deep conviction of her
obligations as member of a confederation. Hence also, she had hesitated
three years on the borders of union, and seen her sister states enter
it one by one before she could bring herself to make over to a central
government even those portions of authority which a central government
could administer so much more in her interest than she. But she was
wiser for the struggle, and full of resolution and hope entered boldly
upon her new career.

We have seen that Rhode Island began very early to seek her fortune
on the water. Ship building was one of the earliest forms which her
enterprise assumed. Already in March, 1790, the shipping of Providence
alone consisted of nine ships, thirty-six brigs, forty-five sloops and
twenty schooners, forming in all a tonnage of ten thousand five hundred
and ninety. To man this commercial fleet the same town had a population
of six thousand three hundred and eighty to draw from. Newport, though
no longer holding the same position which she held before the war, was
still an active seaport. The population of the whole State had risen to
sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.

The most active commerce had been that of the West Indies. But with
peace a wider field was opened, and ships sent directly to the East
Indies. Raw material of various kinds was sent to Europe, and European
manufactures brought back in return. It was soon evident that the new
State would profit England more by equal commerce than by dependence.
Yet it was not all at once that the financial errors of the Revolution
could be repaired, or the bitterness engendered by civil war assuaged.
A deep rooted hostility to England had taken hold of many minds, to
bear its fruits when republican France claimed sympathy as a sister

We have already registered the birth of manufactures. Circumstances
favored their growth and prepared the way for a development which has
made the smallest one of the richest states of the Union. A great
river runs through it, widening at its mouth into a spacious bay. Deep
ponds of pure water dot its surface, and limpid streamlets which swell
with every rain send from every upland their tributes to the bay. How
should these waters be subjected to the will of man? Samuel Slater, a
native of Derbyshire, had served an apprenticeship to Jedediah Strutt,
the partner of Arkwright, and learned the secret of the new method of
spinning cotton. Heavy penalties were affixed to the exportation of
the new machinery. But Slater had made himself master of the theory as
well as the practice of the art, and seems to have been casting about
him for a way of turning his knowledge to account, when he learned that
the State of Pennsylvania had offered a bounty for the introduction
of it. Thus American manufactures owe their birth to protection. The
story was a simple one. Slater came to America bringing the secret with
him. In Moses Brown, of Providence, he found a judicious counselor, in
William Almy and Smith Brown enterprising capitalists. On the 21st of
December, 1790, and on the Pawtucket River, the first factory went into
operation. On that day and by the hand of Samuel Slater, the destiny of
Rhode Island was decided.

In these days of mingled hope and fear, on the 19th of July, 1785,
closed the long and useful career of Stephen Hopkins, whose name is
closely interwoven with all that is greatest and best in Rhode Island
history; an astronomer of no mean pretensions, a statesman of broad
views and deep penetration, a supreme executive, prompt, energetic
and fearless, a genial companion when wise men relax from care, and
a trusty counselor when the duties of life bear heaviest on the
scrupulous conscience.

The tranquil growth of manufactures affords few materials for general
history, in which it appears by its results rather than by its
processes. Statistics take the place of narrative, and except in
controlling and inventive minds the story of man himself is the story
of a machine.

Meanwhile another seed was sown in this fruitful ground, and another
name was associated with a great public benefaction, the name of John
Howland, a native of Newport, but from his ninth year a resident of
Providence and a barber by trade, became, in 1799, the father of the
free school system of Rhode Island. Not all at once was this good work
done, but slowly and in spite of much opposition, chiefly from the poor
who were to profit most by it. Years were yet to pass before the pride
as well as the consciences of the people became enlisted in its behalf.

In the commercial history of the State the foundation of the Providence
Bank, in 1791, was an event of great importance, to be followed at
intervals by others with various degrees of success. But among them all
not one bore so directly upon the moral growth of the community as the
Providence Institution for Savings, founded in 1819.

Great hopes were founded on a canal connecting the tide-water of
Providence River with the north line of the State. A company for this
purpose was formed in 1796, and so great was the confidence which
the undertaking inspired, that John Brown, a leading merchant of
Providence, subscribed forty thousand dollars to the stock. The project
failed, and though enthusiastically renewed in 1823, failed again and

The yellow fever belongs to our record, and Rhode Island came in for
a full share of the destruction occasioned by the September gale of
1815. Most towns hand down from generation to generation the story of
some great fire which swept over it in its young days, leaving ruin and
desolation in its path. The "great fire" of Providence was the fire
of 1801, the memory of which still lives in the traditions of our own

Pleasant memories also belong to our record. When Washington made
his first visit to the East as President, Rhode Island had not yet
entered the Union. When she did he made a second visit to the East in
recognition of her accession, and was enthusiastically welcomed. He had
already been there under very different circumstances during the war.

We have spoken of John Howland as a public benefactor. Another of
these benefactors of their race was Ebenezer Knight Dexter, founder
of the Dexter Asylum, who having amassed a large fortune in honorable
commerce, gave sixty thousand dollars of it to the support of the poor.
A still more important movement was made in the interest of the poor,
when the first temperance meeting was held in Providence in 1827.

We saw how a charter had been granted to Newport and taken from her. In
1829 an attempt was made to obtain a charter for Providence and failed.
Two years later a serious riot occurred in which some property was
destroyed and some lives were lost. It became evident to the friends
of good order that a more efficient government was required to hold in
check a population of sixteen thousand eight hundred and thirty-two
souls; for to that number had Providence risen in 1830. A charter was
applied for and easily obtained, and on the 22d of November, 1832, the
Town of Providence became a city. Samuel W. Bridgham was the first

Though never the seat of war during the war of 1812, the name of
Rhode Island is closely connected with it, through Oliver H. Perry,
one of the greatest of naval commanders. She bore her part also in the
sufferings occasioned by the embargo, and the other rash measures of
a government which rushed headlong and wholly unprepared into a war
with the most powerful nation on earth. Fully sharing also in the just
discontent of the Eastern States, she sent four delegates to the much
maligned Hartford Convention.

                             CHAPTER XXXI.

                          THE DORR REBELLION.

We have seen that the relation of the citizen to the State became
the subject of attention and experiment at an early period in the
history of Rhode Island. Although an avowed democracy, she regarded
suffrage not as an inherent right, but as a privilege dependent
upon the fulfillment of certain specified conditions. Inequality of
representation was a natural consequence of the unequally increased
population; some towns growing faster than others, but having no
more voice in legislation than they had had at the beginning of
their civil existence. The right to vote was held to be an important
right, and great pains were taken to secure purity at the polls. But
it was evident that all the tax-payers would sooner or later claim
to be voters. This question recurs from time to time in all its
ramifications, and though long deferred, became at last the chief
question of Rhode Island politics.

For more than two-thirds of a century she had lived under the Charter
of Charles II., first as a Colony and lastly as a State. This Charter
was framed in the broad and liberal spirit of Roger Williams and John
Clarke, and left room for large developments in every department of
legitimate thought and action.

Unfortunately what might have been brought about by peaceful discussion
was gradually fanned into the fiercest flame. Providence had entirely
outgrown her old rival, Newport, and yet Newport had a representation
of six in the Assembly, and Providence of only four. In other towns
the disproportion was equally great. The property qualification also,
a freehold of a hundred and thirty-four dollars, was bitterly opposed
by those who had no freehold. In 1840 seventy-two representatives were
chosen. Thirty-eight were chosen from towns having only twenty-nine
thousand and twenty inhabitants and two thousand eight hundred and
forty-six voters, and the remaining thirty-four came from towns which
had only seventy-nine thousand eight hundred and four inhabitants, and
five thousand seven hundred and seventy-six voters.

Equally irritating to those who had no share in it was the right
conferred by primogeniture.

For many years these questions were prominent subjects of discussion,
and were even brought forward as the most important objects of
legislative action. But no relief could be obtained from the Assembly,
for the Assembly itself was chiefly composed of the privileged classes.
From the Assembly there was but one appeal--the appeal to the people,
and upon the form of this appeal lay the choice between reform and
revolution. This is the event known in Rhode Island history as the
Dorr Rebellion.

The first step towards action was the formation of suffrage
associations, by which the public mind was excited and the popular will
roused to exertion. All through the last weeks of 1840 and the first
weeks of 1841, these associations were busy in guiding, kindling and
stimulating the popular mind, and preparing it for decisive action.
All classes were roused, for the contest was at every door, and every
citizen was equally interested in the result.

The suffrage associations did their work actively and well. By the 5th
of July, 1841, a mass convention was held in Providence, and the State
Committee was authorized to call a convention for the formation of a
Constitution. Confident of their strength the committee set themselves
to their task. On the 28th of August delegates were chosen, and on the
4th of October the convention met. In this convention a Constitution
was framed, and in December sent out to the people as the People's
Constitution. Fourteen thousand voters, a majority, it was claimed, of
all the male adult voters in the State, cast their votes for it. It
claimed to be the will of the people authoritatively expressed. There
was one more step to take, the consequence and complement of all that
had hitherto been done, to complete the organization by the election
of officers. The 18th of April, 1842, was fixed upon for this gravest
function of freemen, and Thomas Wilson Dorr, of Providence, was chosen

Votes had done all that the mere expression of opinion could do. But
underlying every lawful vote was the law which gave it validity, and
this law had prescribed the form and manner in which these votes became
effective. It had said that while the source of all power was in the
people, the people themselves in order to secure progress and guard
against revolution had set limits to their authority, and told when,
where and for what it should be employed.

And now it was seen that there was another government which claimed
to be in sole possession of this power, and the moment that the new
government attempted to perform its executive functions it found itself
face to face with the old. It was evident that one of the two parties
must give way or there must be a collision and bloodshed.

The first attempt of the Suffragists to organize was made at Providence
on the 3d of May, and was repelled. The moral strength was with the
charter government which had the chartered companies, the organized
militia and a strong body of volunteers at its control. It had also
the strong moral support of that clause in the Constitution of the
United States which guarantees to every state a republican government
and protection against internal violence. Should Federal intervention
become necessary, the time and the form of it had been provided
for. But it was not needed. We have seen that on the 3d of May the
government of Governor, Dorr had attempted to displace the government
of Governor King, and failed. On the 18th an attempt was made to seize
the Arsenal, which also failed. Men who had grown up side by side in
peaceful intimacy, had seized their arms under a strong political
excitement, but when the moment for using them came, shrank from the
fearful responsibility. Hundreds would have fought gallantly, but no
one was prepared to begin. And thus when on the 25th of June an attempt
was made to make a stand at Chepachet, the Suffragists gave way at
the approach of the State troops, and returned to their homes without
shedding a drop of blood. By the 28th of June all was over. The great
body of the insurgents went quietly back to their stores and their
farms. Their leader was tried for treason and condemned to imprisonment
for life. But Rhode Island was not a place where so severe a punishment
could be meted out to such an offence. In 1847 an act of general
amnesty set him free, and in 1851 he was restored to his political
and civil rights. Forgiveness went still further, and his sentence
was reversed as illegal and unjust. But the Supreme Court refused to
sustain this reversal as an assumption of judicial authority by the
Legislature. Dorr's early death left him no time for new aspirations.

Meanwhile a new convention for the framing of a new Constitution had
been called by the regularly constituted authorities, and a new draft
submitted to the people. But this also was rejected. Another attempt
was made, another convention called. Argument and discussion were
exhausted. The popular mind was prepared for decision. The popular
will called for it. The last day of the old Charter was come. At an
adjourned meeting of the convention, held at East Greenwich on the
5th of November, a final decision was reached and a Constitution
unanimously agreed upon. On the first Tuesday in May, 1843, it went
into operation.

And thus Rhode Island, while she adhered firmly to the principle of
freedom of opinion, adhered no less firmly to the principle of law and
order. The Dorr Rebellion was the resistance of law to revolution, of
order to the arbitrary assumption of power. Rhode Island had begun her
career by a practical profession of freedom of thought and freedom
of speech. She had struggled long and hard to secure them both, and
now the day of reward was at hand. Henceforth the industries of peace
will bring her wealth from the land and the sea, the salubrity of her
climate will raise up on her inland and on her shores a thriving and
vigorous population, and while in some things she will take the lead of
her sister states, in no thing will she fall far behind.

                             CHAPTER XXXII.


With the adoption of the new Constitution business returned to its
natural channels. Party animosities lost somewhat of their bitterness
as the various forms of industry revived, and old friends were again
brought into daily communication under the healing influence of common
interests and common pleasures. The story of these calm pursuits brings
out in pleasant relief the every-day virtues of domestic life and the
higher qualities of combination and invention, but it seldom addresses
itself to the imagination, or excites and surprises by glowing appeals
to the passions. The happiest periods of history are those which are
the most barren of incident.

Meanwhile one of the great epochs of our history was at hand, and Rhode
Island was again called upon to furnish the materials for battles which
were to be fought at a distance from her own soil. The war of secession
found her, like her sisters, unprepared for the great struggle in which
humanity had so much at stake, and which soon made it manifest that
industrious peace is the best of preparations for a war of principle.
Within three days after President Lincoln issued his proclamation
calling for troops for the defence of Washington, a body of Rhode
Islanders, well armed and equipped, was on its way thither. As the war
continued she still met its increasing demands, till the sum-total
of her contributions amounted to twenty-four thousand and forty-two,
upon a population of one hundred and eighty-four thousand nine hundred
and sixty-five. Of these, two hundred and fifty-five were killed; one
thousand two hundred and sixty-three died of wounds or disease; one
thousand two hundred and forty-nine were wounded.

As some readers may wish for more detail, I give the following
statement, for which I am indebted to the politeness of
Adjutant-General Heber Le Favour:

  "There went into the field from Rhode Island during the late
  rebellion, twenty-four thousand and forty-two men; of which the
  infantry numbered ten thousand three hundred and eighty-two; cavalry,
  four thousand three hundred and ninety-four; heavy artillery, five
  thousand six hundred and forty-four; light artillery, two thousand
  nine hundred and seventy-seven; navy, six hundred and forty-five.
  This number is in excess of the actual number of persons furnished by
  the State, as many of them appear several times on the record under
  the head of promotions or re-enlistments after discharge from their
  three months, nine months, or three years terms of service.

  Two hundred and fifty-five were killed, one thousand two hundred and
  sixty-five died of wounds or disease, and one thousand two hundred
  and forty-nine were wounded. There were eight regiments of infantry,
  of which three were for three months and two for nine months. There
  were three regiments of cavalry for three years, and one squadron
  for three months. There were three regiments of heavy artillery.
  There was one regiment of light artillery, composed of eight light
  batteries, and there were also two light batteries for three months
  service. One company of infantry was stationed at Portsmouth Grove as
  Hospital Guards."

On the 4th of July, 1876, the United States of America ended the
first century of their national existence; a century of marvellous
experiences throughout the civilized world; of experiences in the
science of government, which bear directly upon the moral development
of man and experiences in the physical sciences which minister directly
and indirectly both to his material wants and to the demands of his
intellectual nature. Civilization had reached in those hundred years a
height and a completeness which it had never reached before.

Proud of what they had done, confident of what they could do, they
invited the other civilized nations, their elders by centuries, to
bring the choicest productions of their art and industry and set them
side by side with those of the young republic. In this comparison how
well Rhode Island bore her part the following list will show:

Rhode Island was conspicuous at the Exposition for the excellence of
her products in the following departments:[A]

_First_--Machinery, including new inventions.

_Second_--Cotton fabrics, including sheeting and shirting, calico, fine
muslins, jeans, drillings, etc.

_Third_--Woolen fabrics, broad cloths, cassimeres, shawls, worsteds,

_Fourth_--Wood screws. (American Screw Co., Providence.)

_Fifth_--Fire-arms, rifles, carabines chiefly. The Peabody-Martini
rifle furnished the Turkish government an arm of great excellence.
(Providence Tool Co.)

_Sixth_--Fabrics of India rubber. (The Bristol Works.)

_Seventh_--Silver and plated ware. (Gorham's.)

_Eighth_--Steam engines.

_Ninth_--Hair cloth. (Various companies in Pawtucket.)

_Tenth_--Files and mechanics' tools.

_Eleventh_--Stoves and furnaces. (Chiefly the product of the Barstow

_Twelfth_--Chemical manufactures.

  [A] For the above list I am indebted to my friend, Hon. J. R.
      Bartlett, to whom Rhode Island is indebted for the preservation
      and publication of her Colonial Records.

And here I stay my hand. I have spoken kindly of the State of my birth,
but mindful of the historian's first duty, I have striven in every
thing to speak truthfully. It is an unvarnished tale, and yet there
is a moral grandeur in it far beyond the grandeur of battle-fields
and thrones. By deep and earnest convictions, by unwavering faith and
unshaken resolution, Rhode Island has worked out for herself and for
mankind one of the grandest problems of civilization.

It is the privilege of history that it teaches by examples. It is
good for man that such men as Roger Williams and John Clark, should
have lived. It is for the glory of Rhode Island that men like these,
searching for a spot whereon they might build and live with unfettered
consciences, should have chosen her for their dwelling place.

                             AUTHOR'S NOTE.

                    (_Referring to Page 196._)

This is not strictly accurate. It was in honor of Nicholas, not John
Brown, and several years after its removal from Warren to Providence,
that the name of Rhode Island College was changed to Brown University.


                    Map of
                 THE STATE OF
                 RHODE ISLAND
                _PUBLISHED BY_
              J. A. & R. A. REID,
         Drawn by J. C. Thompson.]


                              The Charter,

                  _GRANTED BY KING CHARLES II._,

July 8, 1663, and in force until the adoption of the Constitution,
November, 1842.

Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland,
France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c., to all to whom these
presents shall come, greeting: Whereas, we have been informed, by the
humble petition of our trusty and well-beloved subject, John Clarke,
on the behalf of Benjamin Arnold, William Brenton, William Codington,
Nicholas Easton, William Boulston, John Porter, John Smith, Samuel
Gorton, John Weeks, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter,
John Coggeshall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Holden, John Greene, John
Roome, Samuel Wildbore, William Field, James Barker, Richard Tew,
Thomas Harris, and William Dyre, and the rest of the purchasers and
free inhabitants of our island, called Rhode Island, and the rest
of the Colony of Providence Plantations, in the Narragansett Bay,
in New England, in America, that they, pursuing, with peaceable and
loyal minds, their sober, serious, and religious intentions, of godly
edifying themselves, and one another, in the holy Christian faith
and worship, as they were persuaded; together with the gaining over
and conversion of the poor ignorant Indian natives, in those parts
of America to the sincere profession and obedience of the same faith
and worship, did, not only by the consent and good encouragement of
our royal progenitors, transport themselves out of this kingdom of
England into America, but also, since their arrival there, after their
first settlement amongst other our subjects in those parts, for the
avoiding of discord, and those many evils which were likely to ensue
upon some of those our subjects not being able to bear, in these remote
parts, their different apprehensions in religious concernments, and in
pursuance of the aforesaid ends, did once again leave their desirable
stations and habitations, and with excessive labor and travel, hazard
and charge did transplant themselves into the midst of the Indian
natives, who, as we are informed, are the most potent princes and
people of all that country; where, by the good Providence of God,
from whom the Plantations have taken their name, upon their labor and
industry, they have not only been preserved to admiration, but have
increased and prospered, and are seized and possessed, by purchase and
consent of the said natives, to their full content, of such lands,
islands, rivers, harbors and roads, as are very convenient, both for
plantations, and also for building of ships, supply of pipe-staves, and
other merchandize; and which lie very commodious, in many respects,
for commerce, and to accommodate our southern plantations, and may
much advance the trade of this our realm, and greatly enlarge the the
territories thereof; they having by near neighborhood to and friendly
society with the great body of the Narragansett Indians, given them
encouragement of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people
and lands, unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in time, by the
blessing of God upon their endeavors be laid a sure foundation of
happiness to all America: And whereas, in their humble address, they
have freely declared, that it is much on their hearts (if they may be
permitted) to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most nourishing
civil state may stand and best be maintained, and that among our
English subjects, with a full liberty in religious concernments; and
that true piety rightly grounded upon gospel principles, will give the
best and greatest security to sovereignty, and will lay in the hearts
of men the strongest obligations to true loyalty: Now, know ye, that
we, being willing to encourage the hopeful undertaking of our said
loyal and loving subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and
enjoyment of all their civil and religious rights, appertaining to
them, as our loving subjects; and to preserve unto them that liberty,
in the true Christian faith and worship of God, which they have sought
with so much travail, and with peaceable minds, and loyal subjection
to our royal progenitors and ourselves, to enjoy; and because some of
the people and inhabitants of the same colony cannot, in their private
opinions, conform to the public exercise of religion, according to the
liturgy, forms and ceremonies of the Church of England, or take or
subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalf;
and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those
places, will (as we hope) be no breach of the unity and uniformity
established in this nation: Have therefore thought fit, and do hereby
publish, grant, ordain and declare, That our royal will and pleasure
is, that no person within the said Colony, at any time hereafter, shall
be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question,
for any differences in opinion in matters of religion, and do not
actually disturb the civil peace of our said Colony; but that all and
every person and persons may, from time to time, and at all times
hereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments
and consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout
the tract of land hereafter mentioned, they behaving themselves
peaceably and quietly, and not using this liberty to licentiousness and
profaneness, nor to the civil injury or outward disturbance of others,
any law, statute, or clause therein contained, or to be contained,
usage or custom of this realm, to the contrary hereof, in any wise,
notwithstanding. And that they may be in the better capacity to defend
themselves, in their just rights and liberties, against all the enemies
of the Christian faith, and others, in all respects, we have further
thought fit, and at the humble petition of the persons aforesaid are
graciously pleased to declare, That they shall have and enjoy the
benefit of our late act of indemnity and free pardon, as the rest
of our subjects in other our dominions and territories have; and to
create and make them a body politic or corporate, with the powers and
privileges hereinafter mentioned. And accordingly our will and pleasure
is, and of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, we
have ordained, constituted and declared, and by these presents, for us,
our heirs and successors, do ordain, constitute and declare, That they,
the said William Brenton, William Codington, Nicholas Easton, Benedict
Arnold, William Boulston, John Porter, Samuel Gorton, John Smith, John
Weeks, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Coggeshall,
Joseph Clarke, Randall Holden, John Greene, John Roome, William Dyre,
Samuel Wildbore, Richard Tew, William Field, Thomas Harris, James
Barker, ---- Rainsborrow, ---- Williams, and John Nickson, and all
such others as now are, or hereafter shall be, admitted and made free
of the company and society of our Colony of Providence Plantations, in
the Narragansett Bay, in New England, shall be from time to time, and
forever hereafter, a body corporate and politic, in fact and name, by
the name of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, in America; and
that, by the same name, they and their successors shall and may have
perpetual succession, and shall and may be persons able and capable,
in the law, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to answer,
and be answered unto, to defend and to be defended, in all and singular
suits, causes, quarrels, matters, actions, and things, of what kind or
nature soever; and also to have, take, possess, acquire, and purchase
lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any goods or chattels, and the
same to lease, grant, demise, aliene, bargain, sell and dispose of,
at their own will and pleasure, as other our liege people of this our
realm of England, or any corporation or body politic, within the same,
may lawfully do. And further, that they the said Governor and Company,
and their successors, shall and may, forever hereafter, have a common
seal, to serve and use for all matters, causes, things and affairs,
whatsoever, of them, and their successors; and the same seal to alter,
change, break, and make new, from time to time, at their will and
pleasure, as they shall think fit. And further, we will and ordain, and
by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, do declare and
appoint that, for the better ordering and managing of the affairs and
business of the said Company, and their successors, there shall be one
Governor, one Deputy-Governor and ten Assistants, to be from time to
time, constituted, elected and chosen, out of the freemen of the said
Company, for the time being, in such manner and form as is hereafter in
these presents expressed, which said officers shall apply themselves to
take care for the best disposing and ordering of the general business
and affairs of and concerning the lands, and hereditaments hereinafter
mentioned to be granted, and the plantation thereof, and the government
of the people there. And, for the better execution of our royal
pleasure herein, we do, for us, our heirs and successors, assign,
name, constitute, and appoint the aforesaid Benedict Arnold to be the
first and present Governor of the said Company, and the said William
Brenton to be the Deputy-Governor, and the said William Boulston,
John Porter, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, John Smith, John Greene,
John Coggeshall, James Barker, William Field, and Joseph Clarke, to
be the ten present Assistants of the said Company, to continue in the
said several offices, respectively, until the first Wednesday which
shall be in the month of May now next coming. And further, we will,
and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do ordain
and grant that the Governor of the said Company, for the time being,
or, in his absence, by occasion of sickness, or otherwise, by his
leave and permission, the Deputy-Governor, for the time being, shall
and may, from time to time, upon all occasions, give order for the
assembling of the said Company, and calling them together, to consult
and advise of the business and affairs of the said Company. And that
forever hereafter, twice in every year, that is to say, on every first
Wednesday in the month of May, and on every last Wednesday in October,
or oftener, in case it shall be requisite, the Assistants and such
of the freemen of the said Company, not exceeding six persons for
Newport, four persons for each of the respective towns of Providence,
Portsmouth, and Warwick, and two persons for each other place, town or
city, who shall be, from time to time, thereunto elected or deputed by
the major part of the freemen of the respective towns or places for
which they shall be so elected or deputed, shall have a general meeting
or assembly, then and there to consult, advise and determine, in and
about the affairs and business of the said Company and Plantations.
And, further, we do, of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and
mere motion, give and grant unto the said Governor and Company of the
English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New
England, in America, and their successors, that the Governor, or, in
his absence, or, by his permission, the Deputy-Governor, of the said
Company, for the time being, the Assistants, and such of the freemen
of the said Company as shall be so as aforesaid elected or deputed, or
so many of them as shall be present at such meeting or assembly, as
aforesaid, shall be called the General Assembly; and that they, or the
greatest part of them present, whereof the Governor or Deputy-Governor,
and six of the Assistants, at least to be seven, shall have, and have
hereby given and granted unto them, full power and authority, from
time to time, and at all times hereafter, to appoint, alter and change
such days, times and places of meeting and General Assembly, as they
shall think fit; and to choose, nominate and appoint, such and so many
other persons as they shall think fit, and shall be willing to accept
the same, to be free of the said Company and body politic, and them
into the same to admit; and to elect and constitute such offices and
officers, and to grant such needful commissions, as they shall think
fit and requisite, for the ordering, managing, and dispatching of the
affairs of the said Governor and Company, and their successors; and
from time to time, to make, ordain, constitute or repeal, such laws,
statutes, orders and ordinances, forms and ceremonies of government
and magistracy, as to them shall seem meet, for the good and welfare
of the said Company, and for the government and ordering of the lands
and hereditaments, hereinafter mentioned to be granted, and of the
people that do, or at any time hereafter shall, inhabit or be within
the same; so as such laws, ordinances and constitutions, so made, be
not contrary and repugnant unto, but as near as may be, agreeable to
the laws of this our realm of England, considering the nature and
constitution of the place and people there; and also to appoint, order
and direct, erect and settle, such places and courts of jurisdiction,
for the hearing and determining of all actions, cases, matters and
things, happening within the said Colony and Plantation, and which
shall be in dispute, and depending there, as they shall think fit;
and also to distinguish and set forth the several names and titles,
duties, powers and limits, of each court, office and officer, superior
and inferior; and also to contrive and appoint such forms of oaths
and attestations, not repugnant, but as near as may be agreeable,
as aforesaid, to the laws and statutes of this our realm, as are
convenient and requisite, with respect to the due administration of
justice, and due execution and discharge of all offices and places
of trust by the persons that shall be therein concerned; and also to
regulate and order the way and manner of all elections to offices and
places of trust, and to prescribe, limit and distinguish the numbers
and bounds of all places, towns or cities, within the limits and bounds
hereinafter mentioned, and not herein particularly named, who have,
or shall have, the power of electing and sending of freemen to the
said General Assembly; and also to order, direct and authorize the
imposing of lawful and reasonable fines, mulcts, imprisonments, and
executing other punishments, pecuniary and corporal, upon offenders
and delinquents, according to the course of other corporations within
this our kingdom of England; and again to alter, revoke, annul or
pardon, under their common seal, or otherwise, such fines, mulcts,
imprisonments, sentences, judgments and condemnations, as shall be
thought fit; and to direct, rule, order and dispose of, all other
matters and things, and particularly that which relates to the making
of purchases of the native Indians, as to them shall seem meet; whereby
our said people and inhabitants in the said Plantations, may be so
religiously, peaceably and civilly governed, as that by their good life
and orderly conversation, they may win and invite the native Indians
of the country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and
Saviour of mankind; willing, commanding and requiring, and by these
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, ordaining and appointing,
that all such laws, statutes, orders and ordinances, instructions,
impositions and directions, as shall be so made by the Governor,
Deputy-Governor, Assistants and freemen, or such number of them as
aforesaid, and published in writing, under their common seal, shall
be carefully and duly observed, kept, performed and put in execution,
according to the true intent and meaning of the same. And these our
letters patent, or the duplicate or exemplification thereof, shall
be to all and every such officer, superior or inferior, from time to
time, for the putting of the same orders, laws, statutes, ordinances,
instructions and directions in due execution, against us, our heirs and
successors, a sufficient warrant and discharge. And further, our will
and pleasure is, and we do hereby, for us, our heirs and successors,
establish and ordain, that yearly, once in the year, forever hereafter,
namely, the aforesaid Wednesday in May, and at the town of Newport, or
elsewhere, if urgent occasion do require, the Governor, Deputy-Governor
and Assistants of the said Company, and other officers of the said
Company, or such of them as the General Assembly shall think fit, shall
be, in the said General Court or Assembly to be held from that day or
time, newly chosen for the year ensuing, by such greater part of the
said Company, for the time being, as shall be then and there present;
and if it shall happen that the present Governor, Deputy-Governor and
Assistants, by these presents appointed, or any such as shall hereafter
be newly chosen into their rooms, or any of them, or any other the
officers of the said Company, shall die or be removed from his or their
several offices or places, before the said general day of election,
(whom we do hereby declare, for any misdemeanor or default, to be
removable by the Governor, Assistants and Company, or such greater
part of them, in any of the said public courts, to be assembled as
aforesaid,) that then, and in every such case, it shall and may be
lawful to and for the said Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistants and
Company aforesaid, or such greater part of them, so to be assembled as
is aforesaid, in any of their assemblies, to proceed to a new election
of one or more of their Company, in the room or place, rooms or places,
of such officer or officers, so dying or removed, according to their
discretions; and immediately upon and after such election or elections
made of such Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistant or Assistants, or
any other officer of the said Company, in manner and form aforesaid,
the authority, office and power, before given to the former Governor,
Deputy-Governor, and other officer and officers, so removed, in whose
stead and place new shall be chosen, shall, as to him and them, and
every of them, respectively, cease and determine: _Provided always_,
and our will and pleasure is, that as well such as are by these
presents appointed to be the present Governor, Deputy-Governor and
Assistants of the said Company, as those that shall succeed them, and
all other officers to be appointed and chosen as aforesaid, shall,
before the undertaking the execution of the said offices and places
respectively, give their solemn engagement, by oath, or otherwise,
for the due and faithful performance of their duties in their several
offices and places, before such person or persons as are by these
presents hereafter appointed to take and receive the same, that is
to say: the said Benedict Arnold, who is hereinbefore nominated and
appointed the present Governor of the said Company, shall give the
aforesaid engagement before William Brenton, or any two of the said
Assistants of the said Company; unto whom we do by these presents
give full power and authority to require and receive the same; and the
said William Brenton, who is hereby before nominated and appointed
the present Deputy-Governor of the said Company, shall give the
aforesaid engagement before the said Benedict Arnold, or any two of
the Assistants of the said Company; unto whom we do by these presents
give full power and authority to require and receive the same; and the
said William Boulston, John Porter, Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, John
Smith, John Greene, John Coggeshall, James Barker, William Field, and
Joseph Clarke who are herein before nominated and appointed the present
Assistants of the said Company, shall give the said engagement to their
offices and places respectively belonging, before the said Benedict
Arnold and William Brenton, or one of them; to whom respectively we do
hereby give full power and authority to require, administer or receive
the same: and further, our will and pleasure is, that all and every
other future Governor or Deputy-Governor, to be elected and chosen
by virtue of these presents, shall give the said engagement before
two or more of the said Assistants of the said Company for the time
being; unto whom we do by these presents give full power and authority
to require, administer or receive the same; and the said Assistants,
and every of them, and all and every other officer or officers to be
hereafter elected and chosen by virtue of these presents, from time
to time, shall give the like engagements, to their offices and places
respectively belonging, before the Governor or Deputy-Governor for the
time being: unto which said Governor, or Deputy-Governor, we do by
these presents give full power and authority to require, administer or
receive the same accordingly. And we do likewise, for us, our heirs
and successors, give and grant unto the said Governor and Company,
and their successors, by these presents, that, for the more peaceable
and orderly government of the said Plantations, it shall and may be
lawful for the Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistants and all other
officers and ministers of the said Company, in the administration
of justice, and exercise of government, in the said Plantations, to
use, exercise, and put in execution, such methods, rules, orders and
directions, not being contrary or repugnant to the laws and statutes
of this our realm, as have been heretofore given, used and accustomed,
in such cases respectively, to be put in practice, until at the next
or some other General Assembly, special provision shall be made and
ordained in the cases aforesaid. And we do further, for us, our heirs
and successors, give and grant unto the said Governor and Company, and
their successors, by these presents, that it shall and may be lawful
to and for the said Governor, or, in his absence, the Deputy-Governor,
and major part of the said Assistants, for the time being, at any time
when the said General Assembly is not sitting, to nominate, appoint
and constitute, such and so many commanders, governors and military
officers, as to them shall seem requisite, for the leading, conducting
and training up the inhabitants of the said Plantations in martial
affairs, and for the defence and safeguard of the said Plantations:
and that it shall and may be lawful to and for all and every such
commander, governor and military officer, that shall be so as
aforesaid, or by the Governor, or in his absence, the Deputy-Governor,
and six of the said Assistants, and major part of the freemen of the
said Company present at any General Assemblies, nominated, appointed
and constituted, according to the tenor of his and their respective
commissions and directions to assemble, exercise in arms, martial
array, and put in warlike posture, the inhabitants of the said Colony,
for their special defence and safety; and to lead and conduct the said
inhabitants, and to encounter, expulse, expel and resist, by force of
arms, as well by sea as by land, and also to kill, slay and destroy,
by all fitting ways, enterprises and means, whatsoever, all and every
such person or persons as shall, at any time hereafter, attempt or
enterprise the destruction, invasion, detriment, or annoyance of the
said inhabitants or Plantations; and to use and exercise the law
martial in such cases only as occasion shall necessarily require; and
to take or surprise, by all ways and means whatsoever, all and every
such person and persons, with their ship or ships, armor, ammunition
or other goods of such persons, as shall, in hostile manner, invade or
attempt the defeating of the said Plantation, or the hurt of the said
Company and inhabitants; and upon just causes, to invade and destroy
the native Indians, or other enemies of the said Colony. Nevertheless,
our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby declare to the rest of our
Colonies in New England, that it shall not be lawful for this our said
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in America, in
New England, to invade the natives inhabiting within the bounds and
limits of their said Colonies, without the knowledge and consent of
the said other Colonies. And it is hereby declared, that it shall not
be lawful to or for the rest of the Colonies to invade or molest the
native Indians or any other inhabitants inhabiting within the bounds
and limits hereafter mentioned, (they having subjected themselves unto
us, and being by us taken into our special protection,) without the
knowledge and consent of the Governor and Company of our Colony of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Also our will and pleasure is,
and we do hereby declare unto all Christian Kings, Princes and States,
that if any person, which shall hereafter be of the said Company or
Plantations or any other, by appointment of the said Governor and
Company for the time being shall at any time or times hereafter, rob
or spoil, by sea or land, or do any hurt or unlawful hostility to any
of the subjects of us, our heirs or successors, or any of the subjects
of any Prince or State, being then in league with us, our heirs or
successors, upon complaint of such injury done to any such Prince or
State, or their subjects, we, our heirs and successors, will make open
proclamation within any parts of our realm of England, fit for that
purpose, that the person or persons committing any such robbery or
spoil, shall, within the time limited by such proclamation, make full
restitution, or satisfaction of all such injuries, done or committed,
so as the said Prince, or others so complaining, may be fully satisfied
and contented; and if the said person or persons who shall commit any
such robbery or spoil shall not make satisfaction, accordingly, within
such time, so to be limited, that then we, our heirs and successors,
will put such person or persons out of our allegiance and protection;
and that then it shall and may be lawful and free for all Princes or
others to prosecute with hostility, such offenders, and every of them,
their and every of their procurers, aiders, abettors, and counsellors,
in that behalf: _Provided also_, and our express will and pleasure is,
and we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, ordain
and appoint that these presents, shall not, in any manner, hinder any
of our loving subjects, whatsoever, from using and exercising the trade
of fishing upon the coast of New England, in America; but that they,
and every or any of them, shall have full and free power and liberty
to continue and use the trade of fishing upon the said coast, in any
of the seas thereunto adjoining, or any arms of the seas, or salt
water, rivers and creeks, where they have been accustomed to fish:
and to build and to set upon the waste land belonging to the said
Colony and Plantations, such wharves, stages and work-houses as shall
be necessary for the salting, drying and keeping of their fish, to be
taken or gotten upon that coast. And further, for the encouragement
of the inhabitants of our said Colony of Providence Plantations to
set upon the business of taking whales, it shall be lawful for them,
or any of them having struck whale, dubertus, or other great fish, it
or them, to pursue unto any part of that coast, and into any bay,
river, cove, creek, or shore, belonging thereto, and it or them, upon
the said coast, or in the said bay, river, cove, creek, or shore,
belonging thereto, to kill and order for the best advantage, without
molestation, they making no wilful waste or spoil; anything in these
presents contained, or any other matter or thing, to the contrary,
notwithstanding. And further also, we are graciously pleased, and do
hereby declare, that if any of the inhabitants of our said Colony do
set upon the planting of vineyards (the soil and climate both seeming
naturally to concur to the production of wines) or be industrious in
the discovery of fishing banks, in or about the said Colony, we will,
from time to time, give and allow all due and fitting encouragement
therein, as to others, in cases of like nature. And further, of our
more ample grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, we have given
and granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors,
do give and grant unto the said Governor and Company of the English
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in the Narragansett
Bay, in New England, in America, and to every inhabitant there, and to
every person and persons, trading thither, and to every such person
or persons as are or shall be free of the said Colony, full power and
authority, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, to take,
ship, transport and carry away, out of any of our realms and dominions,
for and towards the plantation and defence of the said Colony, such and
so many of our loving subjects and strangers as shall or will willingly
accompany them in and to their said Colony and Plantation; except such
person or persons as are or shall be therein restrained by us, our
heirs and successors, or any law or statute of this realm: and also to
ship and transport all and all manner of goods, chattels, merchandizes
and other things whatsoever, that are or shall be useful or necessary
for the said Plantations, and defence thereof, and usually transported,
and not prohibited by any law or statute of this our realm; yielding
and paying unto us, our heirs and successors, such the duties, customs
and subsidies, as are or ought to be paid or payable for the same.
And further, our will and pleasure is, and we do, for us, our heirs
and successors, ordain, declare, and grant unto the said Governor and
Company, and their successors, that all and every the subjects of us,
our heirs and successors, which are already planted and settled within
our said Colony of Providence Plantations, or which shall hereafter go
to inhabit within the said Colony, and all and every of their children,
which have been born there, or which shall happen hereafter to be
born there, or on the sea, going thither, or returning from thence,
shall have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural
subjects within any the dominions of us, our heirs or successors to
all intents, constructions and purposes, whatsoever, as if they, and
every of them, were born within the realm of England. And further,
know ye, that we, of our more abundant grace, certain knowledge, and
mere motion, have given, granted and confirmed, and by these presents,
for us, our heirs and successors, do give, grant and confirm, unto the
said Governor and Company, and their successors, all that part of our
dominions in New England, in America, containing the Nahantic, and
Nanhyganset, alias Narragansett Bay, and countries and parts adjacent,
bounded on the west, or westerly, to the middle of a channel or river
there, commonly called and known by the name of Pawcatuck, alias
Pawcawtuck river, and so along the said river, as the greater or middle
stream thereof reacheth or lies up into the north country, northward,
unto the head thereof, and from thence, by a straight line drawn
due north, until it meets with the south line of the Massachusetts
Colony; and on the north, or northerly, by the aforesaid south or
southerly line of the Massachusetts Colony or Plantation, and extending
towards the east, or eastwardly, three English miles to the east and
north-east of the most eastern and north-eastern parts of the aforesaid
Narragansett Bay, as the said bay lyeth or extendeth itself from the
ocean on the south, or southwardly unto the mouth of the river which
runneth towards the town of Providence, and from thence along the
easterly side or bank of the said river (higher called by the name of
Seacunck river) up to the falls called Patuckett Falls, being the most
westwardly line of Plymouth Colony, and so from the said falls, in a
straight line, due north, until it meet with the aforesaid line of the
Massachusetts Colony; and bounded on the south by the ocean; and, in
particular, the lands belonging to the towns of Providence, Pawtuxet,
Warwick, Misquammacok, alias Pawcatuck, and the rest upon the main
land in the tract aforesaid, together with Rhode Island, Block Island,
and all the rest of the islands and banks in the Narragansett Bay, and
bordering upon the coast of the tract aforesaid, (Fisher's Island only
excepted,) together with all firm lands, soils, grounds, havens, ports,
rivers, waters, fishings, mines royal, and all other mines, minerals,
precious stones, quarries, woods, wood grounds, rocks, slates, and all
and singular other commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges,
franchises, preheminancies, and hereditaments, whatsoever within the
said tract, bounds, lands and islands aforesaid, or to them or any
of them belonging, or in anywise appertaining; _to have and to hold_
the same, unto the said Governor and Company, and their successors,
forever, upon trust, for the use and benefit of themselves and their
associates freemen of the said Colony, their heirs and assigns, to
be holden of us, our heirs and successors, as of the Manor of East
Greenwich, in our county of Kent, in free and common soccage, and not
in capite, nor by knight service; yielding and paying, therefore, to
us, our heirs and successors, only the fifth part of all the ore of
gold and silver which, from time to time, and at all times hereafter,
shall be there gotten, had or obtained, in lieu and satisfaction of all
services, duties, fines, forfeitures, made or to be made, claims and
demands whatsoever, to be to us, our heirs or successors, therefor or
thereout rendered, made or paid; any grant, or clause in a late grant,
to the Governor and Company of Connecticut Colony, in America, to the
contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding; the aforesaid Pawcatuck
river having been yielded, after much debate, for the fixed and certain
bounds between these our said Colonies, by the agents thereof; who
have also agreed, that the said Pawcatuck river shall be also called
alias Norrogansett or Narrogansett river; and, to prevent future
disputes, that otherwise might arise thereby, forever hereafter shall
be construed, deemed and taken to be the Narragansett river in our late
grant to Connecticut Colony mentioned as the easterly bounds of that
Colony. And further, our will and pleasure is, that in all matters of
public controversy which may fall out between our Colony of Providence
Plantations, and the rest of our Colonies in New England, it shall and
may be lawful to and for the Governor and Company of the said Colony of
Providence Plantations to make their appeals therein to us, our heirs
and successors, for redress in such cases, within this our realm of
England: and that it shall be lawful to and for the inhabitants of the
said Colony of Providence Plantations, without let or molestation, to
pass and repass, with freedom, into and through the rest of the English
Colonies, upon their lawful and civil occasions, and to converse, and
hold commerce and trade with such of the inhabitants of our other
English Colonies as shall be willing to admit them thereunto, they
behaving themselves peaceably among them; any act, clause or sentence,
in any of the said Colonies provided, or that shall be provided, to
the contrary in anywise notwithstanding. And lastly, we do, or us,
our heirs and successors, ordain and grant unto the said Governor and
Company and their successors by these presents that these our letters
patent shall be firm, good, effectual and available in all things
in the law, to all intents, contents, constructions and purposes
whatsoever, according to our true intent and meaning hereinbefore
declared; and shall be construed, reputed and adjudged in all cases
most favorably on the behalf, and for the best benefit and behoof of
the said Governor and Company, and their successors; although express
mention of the true yearly value or certainty of the premises, or any
of them, or of any other gifts or grants, by us, or by any of our
progenitors or predecessors, heretofore made to the said Governor
of the Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, in the Narragansett Bay, New England, in America, in
these presents is not made, or any statue, act, ordinance, provision,
proclamation or restriction, heretofore had, made, enacted, ordained
or provided, or any other matter, cause or thing whatsoever, to the
contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding. In witness, whereof, we
have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness ourself, at
Westminister, the eighth day of July, in the fifteenth year of our

                                          _By the King_:



                                 OF THE

                         State of Rhode Island,


                        Providence Plantations.

ARTICLE I.--_Declaration of Rights._

SECTION 1. Right of the people to make and alter their Constitution.

SEC. 2. Object of government--How laws should be made and burdens

SEC. 3. Religious freedom secured.

SEC. 4. Slavery prohibited.

SEC. 5. Laws should provide remedies--Justice shall be free, complete,

SEC. 6. Rights of search and seizure regulated.

SEC. 7. Provisions concerning criminal proceedings.

SEC. 8. Bail, fines and punishments.

SEC. 9. Bail and _habeas corpus_.

SEC. 10. Rights of the accused in criminal proceedings.

SEC. 11. Debtors entitled to relief.

SEC. 12. No _ex post facto_ law, &c., to be passed.

SEC. 13. No man to criminate himself.

SEC. 14. Presumption of innocence--Accused to be secured without

SEC. 15. Trial by jury.

SEC. 16. Private property secured.

SEC. 17. Rights of fishery.

SEC. 18. Military subordinate--Martial law.

SEC. 19. Of quartering soldiers.

SEC. 20. Liberty of the press secured--Truth as a defence to libel.

SEC. 21. Right of the people to assemble, and to petition.

SEC. 22. Right to bear arms.

SEC. 23. Rule of construction.

ARTICLE II.--_Electors._

SEC. 1. Of electors owning real estate.

SEC. 2. Of electors qualified to vote on adoption of Constitution--
Registered voters--Qualified by dollar tax--Military duty---Who to
vote for City Council in Providence, to impose a tax, &c.

SEC. 3. Of assessment and payment of registry tax.

SEC. 4. Who shall not gain residence or be permitted to vote.

SEC. 5. Residents on lands ceded, &c., not electors.

SEC. 6. Power of General Assembly over elections.

ARTICLE III.--_Powers Distributed._

Three Departments.

ARTICLE IV.--_Legislative Powers._

SECTION 1. Constitution supreme law.

SEC. 2. Two houses--General Assembly--Style of laws.

SEC. 3. Sessions of General Assembly.

SEC. 4. Members not to take fees, &c.

SEC. 5. Members exempt from arrest, &c.

SEC. 6. Powers of each house--Organization.

SEC. 7. Powers to make rules, &c.

SEC. 8. Of the journal and yeas and nays.

SEC. 9. Of adjournments.

SEC. 10. Of powers not prohibited.

SEC. 11. Pay of members.

SEC. 12. Lotteries prohibited.

SEC. 13. Debts not to be incurred.

SEC. 14. Private or local appropriations.

SEC. 15. Of valuations of property and assessments.

SEC. 16. Officers may be continued until successors are qualified.

SEC. 17. Bills to create corporations to be continued, except, &c.

SEC. 18. Of election of senators to Congress.

ARTICLE V.--_House of Representatives._

SECTION 1. House, how constituted--Ratio of representation.

SEC. 2. May elect its officers, &c.

ARTICLE VI.--_Senate._

SECTION 1. How constituted.

SEC. 2. Governor to preside--when to vote in grand committee.

SEC. 3. May elect presiding officer in case of vacancy, &c.

SEC. 4. Secretary and other officers.

ARTICLE VII.--_Executive._

SECTION 1. Of the governor and lieutenant-governor--How elected.

SEC. 2. Duty of governor.

SEC. 3. He shall command military and naval forces, except, &c.

SEC. 4. He may grant reprieves, &c.

SEC. 5. He may fill vacancies.

SEC. 6. He may adjourn assembly, in case, &c.

SEC. 7. He may convene assembly, when, &c.

SEC. 8. Commissions, how signed, &c.

SEC. 9. Lieutenant-governor, when to act as governor.

SEC. 10. Vacancies, how filled.

SEC. 11. Compensation of governor, &c.

SEC. 12. Duties of general officers.

ARTICLE VIII.--_Elections._

SECTION 1. Governor and general officers, when elected.

SEC. 2. General officers and members of assembly, how voted for.

SEC. 3. Same subject--How votes to be sealed up, transmitted and

SEC. 4. List of voters to be kept. [Obsolete.]

SEC. 5. Ballots for members of Assembly, how counted--Adjournment
of elections, when.

SEC. 6. Of voting in the City of Providence.

SEC. 7. If governor or lieutenant-governor not elected by the people
grand committee to elect, how.

SEC. 8. In case general officers not elected by the people, how vacancies
shall be filled.

SEC. 9. Vacancies in Assembly, how filled.

SEC. 10. Majority required to elect.

ARTICLE IX.--_Qualifications for Office._

SECTION 1. Qualified electors only eligible.

SEC. 2. Conviction of bribery a disqualification.

SEC. 3. Oath of general officers.

SEC. 4. Officers, how engaged.

SEC. 5. How oath to be administered to governor, &c.

SEC. 6. Holding office under United States, or other governments,
a disqualification for certain offices,--except, &c.

ARTICLE X.--_Judiciary._

SECTION 1. One supreme court--Inferior courts how established.

SEC. 2. Jurisdiction of courts--Chancery powers.

SEC. 3. Judges of supreme court to instruct jury--To give opinions,

SEC. 4. Of election and tenure of office of judges of supreme court.

SEC. 5. Vacancies, how filled.

SEC. 6. Compensation of judges.

SEC. 7. Justices of the peace and wardens, how elected--Their

ARTICLE XI.--_Impeachments._

SECTION 1. Impeachments, how ordered.

SEC. 2. Impeachments, how tried.

SEC. 3. What officers liable to impeachment--Effect of conviction.

ARTICLE XII.--_Education._

SECTION 1. Duty of General Assembly to promote schools, &c.

SEC. 2. The permanent school fund.

SEC. 3. Donations for support of schools.

SEC. 4. Powers of General Assembly under this article.

ARTICLE XIII.--_Amendments._

SECTION 1. Amendments, how proposed,--how voted upon,--how

ARTICLE XIV.--_Adoption of the Constitution._

SECTION 1. Constitution, when to go into operation--Its effect on
existing laws, charters, &c.

SEC. 2. Former debts, &c., adopted.

SEC. 3. Jurisdiction of supreme court.

SEC. 4. Exemptions of New Shoreham and Jamestown from military
duty, continued.



Lists of voters for general officers no longer required to be kept, &c.


The pardoning power, how exercised.


Sessions of the General Assembly.


Electors absent from the state in the military service of the United
States, allowed to vote.

       *       *       *       *       *

We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,
grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty
which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for
a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same,
unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this
Constitution of Government.

                               ARTICLE I.


In order effectually to secure the religious and political freedom
established by our venerated ancestors, and to preserve the same for
our posterity, we do declare that the essential and unquestionable
rights and principles hereinafter mentioned, shall be established,
maintained and preserved, and shall be of paramount obligation in
all legislative, judicial and executive proceedings.

SECTION 1. In the words of the Father of his Country, we declare,
that, "the basis of our political systems is the right of the people to
make and alter their constitutions of government; but that the constitution
which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and
authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all."

SEC. 2. All free governments are instituted for the protection,
safety and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be
made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought
to be fairly distributed among its citizens.

SEC. 3. Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; and
all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or
by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness;
and whereas, a principal object of our venerable ancestors in
their migration to this country and their settlement of this state, was,
as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment, that a flourishing
civil state may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in
religious concernments; we therefore declare that no man shall be
compelled to frequent or to support any religious worship, place or
ministry whatever, except in fulfillment of his own voluntary contract;
nor enforced, restrained, molested or burthened in his body or
goods; nor disqualified from holding any office; nor otherwise suffer
on account of his religious belief; and that every man shall be free to
worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and to
profess and by argument to maintain his opinion in matters of religion;
and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect his
civil capacity.

SEC. 4. Slavery shall not be permitted in this state.

SEC. 5. Every person within this state ought to find a certain remedy,
by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which
he may receive in his person, property or character. He ought to
obtain right and justice freely, and without purchase, completely, and
without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the

SEC. 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers
and possessions, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not
be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but on complaint in writing,
upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and describing
as nearly as may be the place to be searched, and the persons or things
to be seized.

SEC. 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other
infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury,
except in cases of impeachment, or of such offences as are cognizable
by a justice of the peace; or in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public
danger. No person shall, after an acquittal, be tried for the same

SEC. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines
imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought
to be proportioned to the offence.

SEC. 9. All persons imprisoned ought to be bailed by sufficient
surety, unless for offences punishable by death or by imprisonment for
life, when the proof of guilt is evident, or the presumption great. The
privilege of the writ of _habeas corpus_ shall not be suspended, unless
when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public service shall require
it, nor ever without the authority of the General Assembly.

SEC. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the
right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the
witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining them
in his favor, to have the assistance of counsel in his defence, and shall
be at liberty to speak for himself; nor shall he be deprived of life,
liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of
the land.

SEC. 11. The person of a debtor, when there is not strong presumption
of fraud, ought not to be continued in prison, after he shall have
delivered up his property for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner
as shall be prescribed by law.

SEC. 12. No _ex post facto_ law, or law impairing the obligation of
contracts, shall be passed.

SEC. 13. No man in a court of common law shall be compelled to
give evidence criminating himself.

SEC. 14. Every man being presumed innocent, until he is pronounced
guilty by the law, no act of severity which is not necessary to
secure an accused person shall be permitted.

SEC. 15. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

SEC. 16. Private property shall not be taken for public uses, without
just compensation.

SEC. 17. The people shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise, all
the rights of fishery, and the privileges of the shore, to which they
have been heretofore entitled, under the charter and usages of this
state. But no new right is intended to be granted, nor any existing
right impaired by this declaration.

SEC. 18. The military shall be held in strict subordination to the
civil authority, and the law martial shall be used and exercised in such
cases only as occasion shall necessarily require.

SEC. 19. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of
peace, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in
manner to be prescribed by law.

SEC. 20. The liberty of the press being essential to the security of
freedom in a state, any person may publish his sentiments on any
subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all
trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, unless published
from malicious motives, shall be sufficient defence to the person

SEC. 21. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble
for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the
powers of government, for redress of grievances, or for other purposes,
by petition, address, or remonstrance.

SEC. 22. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be

SEC. 23. The enumeration of the aforegoing rights shall not be
construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

                              ARTICLE II.


SECTION 1. Every male citizen of the United States, of the age of
twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this state
for one year, and in the town or city in which he may claim a right
to vote, six months next preceding the time of voting, and who is
really and truly possessed in his own right of real estate in such
town or city, of the value of one hundred and thirty-four dollars,
over and above all incumbrances, or which shall rent for seven dollars
per annum, over and above any rent reserved, or the interest of any
incumbrances thereon, being an estate in fee simple, fee tail, for
the life of any person, or an estate in reversion or remainder, which
qualifies no other person to vote, the conveyance of which estate,
if by deed, shall have been recorded at least ninety days, shall
thereafter have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers,
and on all questions in all legal town or ward meetings, so long as
he continues so qualified. And if any person hereinbefore described
shall own any such estate within this state out of the town or city in
which he resides, he shall have a right to vote in the election of all
general officers and members of the General Assembly, in the town or
city in which he shall have had his residence and home for the term of
six months next preceding the election, upon producing a certificate
from the clerk of the town or city in which his estate lies, bearing
date within ten days of the time of his voting, setting forth that
such person has a sufficient estate therein to qualify him as a voter;
and that the deed, if any, has been recorded ninety days.

SEC. 2. Every male native citizen of the United States, of the age of
twenty-one years, who has had his residence and home in this state
two years, and in the town or city in which he may offer to vote, six
months next preceding the time of voting, whose name is registered
pursuant to the act calling the convention to frame this Constitution,
or shall be registered in the office of the clerk of such town or city
at least seven days before the time he shall offer to vote and before
the last day of December in the present year; and who has paid or shall
pay a tax or taxes, assessed upon his estate within this state, and
within a year of the time of voting, to the amount of one dollar, or
who shall voluntarily pay, at least seven days before the time he shall
offer to vote, and before said last day of December, to the clerk or
treasurer of the town or city where he resides, the sum of one dollar,
or such sum as, with his other taxes, shall amount to one dollar, for
the support of public schools therein, and shall make proof of the
same, by the certificate of the clerk, treasurer or collector of any
town or city where such payment is made; or who, being so registered
has been enrolled in any military company in this state, and done
military service or duty therein, within the present year, pursuant
to law, and shall, (until other proof is required by law,) prove by
the certificate of the officer legally commanding the regiment, or
chartered or legally authorized volunteer company, in which he may have
served or done duty, that he has been equipped and done duty according
to law, or by the certificate of the commissioners upon military claims
that he has performed military service shall have a right to vote in
the election of all civil officers, and on all questions in all legally
organized town or ward meetings, until the end of the first year
after the adoption of this Constitution, or until the end of the year
eighteen hundred and forty-three.

From and after that time, every such citizen, who has had the residence
herein required, and whose name shall be registered in the town where
he resides, on or before the last day of December, in the year next
preceding the time of his voting, and who shall show by legal proof,
that he has for and within the year next preceding the time he shall
offer to vote, paid a tax or taxes assessed against him in any town or
city in this state, to the amount of one dollar; or that he has been
enrolled in a military company in this state, been equipped and done
duty therein, according to law, and at least for one day during such
year, shall have a right to vote in the election of all civil officers,
and on all questions in all legally organized town or ward meetings:
Provided, that no person shall at any time be allowed to vote in the
election of the City Council of the City of Providence, or upon any
proposition to impose a tax, or for the expenditure of money in any
town or city, unless he shall, within the year next preceding have
paid a tax assessed upon his property therein, valued at least at one
hundred and thirty-four dollars.

SEC. 3. The assessors of each town or city shall annually assess upon
every person whose name shall be registered, a tax of one dollar, or
such sum as with his other taxes shall amount to one dollar, which
registry tax shall be paid into the treasury of such town or city, and
be applied to the support of public schools therein: but no compulsory
process shall issue for the collection of any registry tax: Provided
that the registry tax of every person who has performed military duty
according to the provisions of the preceding section, shall be remitted
for the year he shall perform such duty; and the registry tax assessed
upon any mariner, for any year while he is at sea, shall, upon his
application, be remitted; and no person shall be allowed to vote whose
registry tax for either of the two years next preceding the time of
voting is not paid or remitted as herein provided.

SEC. 4. No person in the military, naval, marine, or any other service
of the United States, shall be considered as having the required
residence by reason of being employed in any garrison, barrack, or
military or naval station in this state: and no pauper, lunatic,
person _non compos mentis_, person under guardianship, or member of
the Narragansett tribe of Indians, shall be permitted to be registered
or to vote. Nor shall any person convicted of bribery, or of any crime
deemed infamous at common law, be permitted to exercise that privilege,
until he be expressly restored thereto by act of the General Assembly.

SEC. 5. Persons residing on lands ceded by this state to the United
States shall not be entitled to exercise the privilege of electors.

SEC. 6. The General Assembly shall have full power to provide for
a registry of voters, to prescribe the manner of conducting the
elections, the form of certificates, the nature of the evidence to be
required in case of a dispute as to the right of any person to vote,
and generally to enact all laws necessary to carry this article into
effect, and to prevent abuse, corruption and fraud in voting.

                              ARTICLE III.

                     OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

The powers of the government shall be distributed into three
departments: the legislative, executive and judicial.

                              ARTICLE IV.

                       OF THE LEGISLATIVE POWER.

SECTION 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the
state, and any law inconsistent therewith, shall be void. The General
Assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into

SEC. 2. The legislative power, under this constitution, shall
be vested in two houses, the one to be called the senate, the other the
house of representatives; and both together, the General Assembly. The
concurrence of the two houses shall be necessary to the enactment of
laws. The style of their laws shall be, _It is enacted by the General
Assembly as follows_.

SEC. 3. There shall be two sessions of the General Assembly
holden annually; one at Newport, on the first Tuesday of May, for the
purposes of election and other business; the other on the last Monday
of October, which last session shall be holden at South Kingstown once
in two years, and the intermediate years alternately at Bristol and
East Greenwich; and an adjournment from the October session shall be
holden annually at Providence.

SEC. 4. No member of the General Assembly shall take any fee,
or be of counsel in any case pending before either house of the General
Assembly, under penalty of forfeiting his seat, upon proof thereof to
the satisfaction of the house of which he is a member.

SEC. 5. The person of every member of the General Assembly
shall be exempt from arrest, and his estate from attachment, in any
civil action, during the session of the General Assembly, and two days
before the commencement, and two days after the termination thereof,
and all process served contrary hereto, shall be void. For any speech
in debate in either house, no member shall be questioned in any other

SEC. 6. Each house shall be the judge of the elections and
qualifications of its members; and a majority shall constitute a quorum
to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and
may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under
such penalties as may be prescribed by such house, or by law. The
organization of the two houses may be regulated by law, subject to the
limitations contained in this constitution.

SEC. 7. Each house may determine its rules of proceeding,
punish contempts, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with
the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member; but not a second time
for the same cause.

SEC. 8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings.
The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire
of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

SEC. 9. Neither house shall, during a session, without the
consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days, nor to any other
place than that in which they may be sitting.

SEC. 10. The General Assembly shall continue to exercise
the powers they have heretofore exercised, unless prohibited in this

SEC. 11. The senators and representatives shall receive the
sum of one dollar for every day of attendance, and eight cents per
mile for traveling expenses in going to and returning from the General
Assembly. The General Assembly shall regulate the compensation of the
governor, and all other officers subject to the limitations contained
in this constitution.

SEC. 12. All lotteries shall hereafter be prohibited in this
state, except those already authorized by the General Assembly.

SEC. 13. The General Assembly shall have no power, hereafter,
without the express consent of the people, to incur state debts to an
amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, except in time of war, or in
case of insurrection or invasion; nor shall they in any case, without
such consent, pledge the faith of the state for the payment of the
obligations of others. This section shall not be construed to refer to
any money that may be deposited with this state by the government of
the United States.

SEC. 14. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected
to each house of the General Assembly shall be required to every
bill appropriating the public money or property for local or private

SEC. 15. The General Assembly shall, from time to time,
provide for making new valuations of property, for the assessment of
taxes, in such manner as they may deem best. A new estimate of such
property shall be taken before the first direct state tax, after the
adoption of this constitution, shall be assessed.

SEC. 16. The General Assembly may provide by law for
the continuance in office of any officers of annual election or
appointment, until other persons are qualified to take their places.

SEC. 17. Hereafter, when any bill shall be presented to either
house of the General Assembly, to create a corporation for any other
than for religious, literary or charitable purposes, or for a military
or fire company, it shall be continued until another election of
members of the General Assembly shall have taken place, and such public
notice of the pendency thereof shall be given as may be required by law.

SEC. 18. It shall be the duty of the two houses, upon the
request of either, to join in grand committee for the purpose of
electing senators in Congress, at such times and in such manner as may
be prescribed by law for said elections.

                               ARTICLE V.


SECTION 1. The house of representatives shall never exceed seventy-two
members, and shall be constituted on the basis of population, always
allowing one representative for a fraction exceeding half the ratio;
but each town or city shall always be entitled to at least one member;
and no town or city shall have more than one-sixth of the whole number
of members to which the house is hereby limited. The present
ratio shall be one representative to every fifteen hundred and thirty
inhabitants, and the General Assembly may, after any new census taken
by the authority of the United States, or of this state, reapportion
the representation by altering the ratio; but no town or city shall be
divided into districts for the choice of representatives.

SEC. 2. The house of representatives shall have authority to elect its
speaker, clerks and other officers. The senior member from the town
of Newport, if any be present, shall preside in the organization of the

                              ARTICLE VI.

                             OF THE SENATE.

SECTION 1. The senate shall consist of the lieutenant-governor and
of one senator from each town or city in the state.

SEC. 2. The governor, and, in his absence the lieutenant-governor,
shall preside in the senate and in grand committee. The presiding
officer of the senate and grand committee shall have a right to vote in
case of equal division, but not otherwise.

SEC. 3. If, by reason of death, resignation, absence or other cause,
there be no governor or lieutenant-governor present, to preside in the
senate, the senate shall elect one of their own members to preside during
such absence or vacancy; and until such election is made by the
senate the secretary of state shall preside.

SEC. 4. The secretary of state shall, by virtue of his office, be secretary
of the senate, unless otherwise provided by law; and the senate
may elect such other officers as they may deem necessary.

                              ARTICLE VII.

                        OF THE EXECUTIVE POWER.

SECTION 1. The chief executive power of this state shall be vested
in a governor, who, together with a lieutenant-governor, shall be annually
elected by the people.

SEC. 2. The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully

SEC. 3. He shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief of the
military and naval forces of this state, except when they shall be called
into the service of the United States.

SEC. 4. He shall have power to grant reprieves after conviction, in
all cases except those of impeachment, until the the end of the next
session of the General Assembly.

SEC. 5. He may fill vacancies in office not otherwise provided for
by this constitution, or by law, until the same shall be filled by the
General Assembly or by the people.

SEC. 6. In case of disagreement between the two houses of the General
Assembly, respecting the time or place of adjournment certified
to him by either, he may adjourn them to such time and place as he
shall think proper: provided that the time of adjournment shall not
be extended beyond the day of the next stated session.

SEC. 7. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General
Assembly at any town or city in this state, at any time not provided
for by law; and in case of danger from the prevalence of epidemic or
contagious disease, in the place in which the General Assembly are by
law to meet, or to which they may have been adjourned, or for other
urgent reasons, he may, by proclamation, convene said Assembly at
any other place within this state.

SEC. 8. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority
of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; shall be
sealed with the state seal, signed by the governor, and attested by the

SEC. 9. In case of vacancy in the office of governor, or of his inability
to serve, impeachment, or absence from the state, the lieutenant-governor
shall fill the office of governor, and exercise the powers and
authority appertaining thereto, until a governor is qualified to act, or
until the office is filled at the next annual election.

SEC. 10. If the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor be both
vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, absence, or
otherwise, the person entitled to preside over the senate for the time
being shall in like manner fill the office of governor during the absence
or vacancy.

SEC. 11. The compensation of the governor and lieutenant-governor
shall be established by law and shall not be diminished during the
term for which they are elected.

SEC. 12. The duties and powers of the secretary, attorney-general,
and general treasurer, shall be the same under this constitution as are
now established, or as from time to time may be prescribed by law.

                             ARTICLE VIII.

                             OF ELECTIONS.

SECTION 1. The governor, lieutenant-governor, senators,
representatives, secretary of state, attorney-general, and general
treasurer, shall be elected at the town, city, or ward meetings, to be
holden on the first Wednesday of April, annually; and shall severally
hold their offices for one year, from the first Tuesday of May next
succeeding, and until others are legally chosen, and duly qualified
to fill their places. If elected or qualified after the said first
Tuesday of May, they shall hold their offices for the remainder of the
political year, and until their successors are qualified to act.

SEC. 2. The voting for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of
state, attorney-general, general treasurer, and representatives to
Congress shall be by ballot; senators and representatives to the
General Assembly, and town or city officers shall be chosen by ballot,
on demand of any seven persons entitled to vote for the same; and in
all cases where an election is made by ballot or paper vote, the manner
of balloting shall be the same as is now required in voting for general
officers, until otherwise prescribed by law.

SEC. 3. The names of the persons voted for as governor,
lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, attorney-general, and general
treasurer, shall be placed upon one ticket; and all votes for these
officers shall, in open town or ward meetings, be sealed up by the
moderators and town clerks and by the wardens and ward clerks, who
shall certify the same, and deliver or send them to the secretary of
state; whose duty it shall be securely to keep and deliver the same to
the grand committee, after the organization of the two houses at the
annual May session; and it shall be the duty of the two houses at said
session, after their organization, upon the request of either house, to
join in grand committee, for the purpose of counting and declaring said
votes, and of electing other officers.

SEC. 4. The town and ward clerks shall also keep a correct list or
register of all persons voting for general officers, and shall transmit
a copy thereof to the General Assembly, on or before the first day of
said May session.

SEC. 5. The ballots for senators and representatives in the several
towns shall, in each case, after the polls are declared to be closed,
be counted by the moderator, who shall announce the result, and the
clerk shall give certificates to the persons elected. If, in any
case, there be no election, the polls may be reopened, and the like
proceedings shall be had until an election shall take place: Provided,
however, that an adjournment or adjournments of the election may be
made to a time not exceeding seven days from the first meeting.

SEC. 6. In the city of Providence, the polls for senator and
representatives shall be kept open during the whole time of voting
for the day, and the votes in the several wards shall be sealed up at
the close of the meeting by the wardens and ward clerks in open ward
meeting, and afterwards delivered to the city clerk. The mayor and
aldermen shall proceed to count said votes within two days from the day
of election; and if no election of senator and representatives or if
an election of only a portion of the representatives shall have taken
place, the mayor and aldermen shall order a new election, to be held
not more than ten days from the day of the first election, and so on
until the election shall be completed. Certificates of election shall
be furnished by the city clerk to the persons chosen.

SEC. 7. If no person shall have a majority of votes for governor, it
shall be the duty of the grand committee to elect one by ballot from
the two persons having the highest number of votes for the office,
except when such a result is produced by rejecting the entire vote
of any town, city or ward for informality or illegality, in which
case a new election by the electors throughout the state shall be
ordered; and in case no person shall have a majority of votes for
lieutenant-governor, it shall be the duty of the grand committee to
elect one by ballot from the two persons having the highest number of
votes for the office.

SEC. 8. In case an election of the secretary of state,
attorney-general, or general treasurer, should fail to be made by
the electors at the annual election, the vacancy or vacancies shall
be filled by the General Assembly in grand committee from the two
candidates for such office having the greatest number of the votes
of the electors. Or, in case of a vacancy in either of said offices,
from other causes, between the sessions of the General Assembly, the
governor shall appoint some person to fill the same, until a successor
elected by the General Assembly is qualified to act; and in such case,
and also in all other cases of vacancies, not otherwise provided for,
the General Assembly may fill the same in any manner they may deem

SEC. 9. Vacancies from any cause in the senate and house of
representatives, may be filled by a new election.

SEC. 10. In all elections held by the people under this constitution, a
majority of all the electors voting shall be necessary to the election
of the persons voted for.

                              ARTICLE IX.

                     OF QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE.

SECTION 1. No person shall be eligible to any civil office (except the
office of school committee), unless he be a qualified elector for such

SEC. 2. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office
to which he may have been elected, if he be convicted of having
offered, or procured any other person to offer, any bribe to secure his
election, or the election of any other person.

SEC. 3. All general officers shall take the following engagement before
they act in their respective offices, to wit: You ... being by the
free vote of the electors of this State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, elected unto the place of ... do solemnly swear, (or
affirm,) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the
constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will
faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid
office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you
God. Or, this affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the
penalty of perjury.

SEC. 4. The members of the General Assembly, the judges of all the
courts, and all other officers, both civil and military, shall be
bound by oath or affirmation to support this constitution, and the
constitution of the United States.

SEC. 5. The oath or affirmation shall be administered to the governor,
lieutenant-governor, senators and representatives, by the secretary of
state, or, in his absence, by the attorney-general. The secretary of
state, attorney-general and general treasurer shall be engaged by the
governor, or by a justice of the supreme court.

SEC. 6. No person holding any office under the government of the United
States, or of any other state or country, shall act as a general
officer, or as a member of the General Assembly, unless at the time
of taking his engagement he shall have resigned his office under such
government; and if any general officer, senator, representative, or
judge, shall after his election and engagement, accept any appointment
under any other government his office under this shall be immediately
vacated; but this restriction shall not apply to any person appointed
to take depositions or acknowledgment of deeds, or other legal
instruments, by the authority of any other state or country.

                               ARTICLE X.

                         OF THE JUDICIAL POWER.

SECTION 1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one
supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the General Assembly
may, from time to time, ordain and establish.

SEC. 2. The several courts shall have such jurisdiction as may, from
time to time, be prescribed by law. Chancery powers may be conferred
on the supreme court, but on no other court to any greater extent than
is now provided by law.

SEC. 3. The judges of the supreme court shall, in all trials, instruct
the jury in the law. They shall also give their written opinion upon
any question of law whenever requested by the governor, or by either
house of the General Assembly.

SEC. 4. The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the two
houses in grand committee. Each judge shall hold his office until his
place be declared vacant by a resolution of the General Assembly to
that effect; which resolution shall be voted for by a majority of all
the members elected to the house in which it may originate, and be
concurred in by the same majority of the other house. Such resolutions,
shall not be entertained at any other than the annual session for the
election of public officers; and in default of the passage thereof at
said session, the judge shall hold his place as is herein provided.
But a judge of any court shall be removed from office, if, upon
impeachment, he shall be found guilty of any official misdemeanor.

SEC. 5. In case of vacancy by death, resignation, removal from the
state or from office, refusal or inability to serve, of any judge of
the supreme court, the office may be filled by the grand committee,
until the next annual election, and the judge then elected shall hold
his office as before provided. In cases of impeachment or temporary
absence or inability, the governor may appoint a person to discharge
the duties of the office during the vacancy caused thereby.

SEC. 6. The judges of the supreme court shall receive a compensation
for their services, which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office.

SEC. 7. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown may continue to elect
their wardens as heretofore. The other towns and the city of Providence
may elect such number of justices of the peace, resident therein, as
they may deem proper. The jurisdiction of said justices and wardens
shall be regulated by law. The justices shall be commissioned by the

                              ARTICLE XI.

                            OF IMPEACHMENTS.

SECTION 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of
impeachment. A vote of two-thirds of all the members elected shall be
required for an impeachment of the governor. Any officer impeached
shall thereby be suspended from office until judgment in the case shall
have been pronounced.

SEC. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and, when
sitting for that purpose, they shall be under oath or affirmation. No
person shall be convicted, except by vote of two-thirds of the members
elected. When the governor is impeached, the chief or presiding justice
of the supreme court, for the time being, shall preside, with a casting
vote in all preliminary questions.

SEC. 3. The governor and all other executive and judicial officers
shall be liable to impeachment; but judgment in such cases shall not
extend further than to removal from office. The person convicted shall,
nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial and punishment according
to law.

                              ARTICLE XII.

                             OF EDUCATION.

SECTION 1. The diffusion of knowledge, as well as of virtue among
the people, being essential to the preservation of their rights and
liberties, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to promote
public schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary
and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of

SEC. 2. The money which now is, or which may hereafter be appropriated
by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of
public schools shall be securely invested, and remain a perpetual fund
for that purpose.

SEC. 3. All donations for the support of public schools, or for other
purposes of education, which may be received by the General Assembly,
shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

SEC. 4. The General Assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law
for carrying this article into effect. They shall not divert said money
or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, or use the
same, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any pretence

                             ARTICLE XIII.

                             ON AMENDMENTS.

The General Assembly may propose amendments to this constitution by
the votes of a majority of all the members elected to each house.
Such propositions for amendment shall be published in the newspapers
and printed copies of them shall be sent by the secretary of state,
with the names of all the members who shall have voted thereon, with
the yeas and nays, to all the town and city clerks in the state. The
said propositions shall be, by said clerks, inserted in the warrants
or notices by them issued, for warning the next annual town and ward
meetings in April; and the clerks shall read said propositions to the
electors when thus assembled, with the names of all the representatives
and senators who shall have voted thereon, with the yeas and nays,
before the election of senators and representatives shall be had. If
a majority of all the members elected to each house, at said annual
meeting, shall approve any proposition thus made, the same shall be
published and submitted to the electors in the mode provided in the
act of approval; and if then approved by three-fifths of the electors
of the state present, and voting thereon in town and ward meetings, it
shall become a part of the constitution of the state.

                              ARTICLE XIV.


SECTION 1. This constitution, if adopted, shall go into operation on
the first Tuesday of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and
forty-three. The first election of governor, lieutenant-governor,
secretary of state, attorney-general and general treasurer, and of
senators and representatives under said constitution, shall be had
on the first Wednesday of April next preceding, by the electors
qualified under said constitution. And the town and ward meetings
therefor shall be warned and conducted as is now provided by law. All
civil and military officers now elected, or who shall hereafter be
elected, by the General Assembly, or other competent authority, before
the said first Wednesday of April, shall hold their offices and may
exercise their powers until the said first Tuesday of May, or until
their successors shall be qualified to act. All statutes, public and
private, not repugnant to this constitution, shall continue in force
until they expire by their own limitation, or are repealed by the
General Assembly. All charters, contracts, judgments, actions, and
rights of action shall be as valid as if this constitution had not been
made. The present government shall exercise all the powers with which
it is now clothed, until the said first Tuesday of May, one thousand
eight hundred and forty-three, and until the government under this
constitution is duly organized.

SEC 2. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the
adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the state as
if this constitution had not been adopted.

SEC 3. The supreme court, established by this constitution, shall
have the same jurisdiction as the supreme judicial court at present
established, and shall have jurisdiction of all causes which may be
appealed to, or pending in the same; and shall be held at the same
times and places, and in each county, as the present supreme judicial
court, until otherwise prescribed by the General Assembly.

SEC 4. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown shall continue to enjoy
the exemptions from military duty which they now enjoy, until otherwise
prescribed by law.

Done in convention, at East Greenwich, this fifth day of November,

A. D. one thousand eight hundred and forty-two.

                                 JAMES FENNER, _President_.
                                 HENRY Y. CRANSTON, _Vice-Pres't._

   WALTER W. UPDIKE, } _Secretaries_.

                         ARTICLES OF AMENDMENT.

                        ADOPTED NOVEMBER, 1854.

                               ARTICLE I.

It shall not be necessary for the town or ward clerks to keep and
transmit to the General Assembly a list or register of all persons
voting for general officers; but the General Assembly shall have power
to pass such laws on the subject as they may deem expedient.

                              ARTICLE II.

The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall
hereafter exclusively exercise the pardoning power, except in cases of
impeachment, to the same extent as such power is now exercised by the
General Assembly.

                              ARTICLE III.

There shall be one session of the General Assembly holden annually,
commencing on the last Tuesday in May, at Newport, and an adjournment
from the same shall be holden annually at Providence.

       *       *       *       *       *

                         ADOPTED AUGUST, 1864.

                              ARTICLE IV.

Electors of this state who in time of war are absent from the state,
in the actual military service of the United States, being otherwise
qualified, shall have a right to vote in all elections in the state
for electors of president and vice-president of the United States,
representatives in Congress, and general officers of the state. The
General Assembly shall have full power to provide by law for carrying
this article into effect: and until such provision shall be made by
law, every such absent elector on the day of such elections, may
deliver a written or printed ballot, with the names of the persons
voted for thereon, and his Christian and surname, and his voting
residence in the state, written at length on the back thereof, to the
officer commanding the regiment or company to which he belongs: and all
such ballots, certified by such commanding officer to have been given
by the elector whose name is written thereon, and returned by such
commanding officer to the secretary of state within the time prescribed
by law for counting the votes in such elections, shall be received
and counted with the same effect as if given by such elector in open
town, ward, or district meeting: and the clerk of each town or city,
until otherwise provided by law, shall, within five days after any such
election, transmit to the secretary of state a certified list of the
names of all such electors on their respective voting lists.

                   [_Copy of the Dorr Constitution._]


                                 OF THE

                         State of Rhode Island,


                        Providence Plantations,


PLANTATIONS, grateful to Almighty God for His blessing vouchsafed
to the "lively experiment" of Religious and Political Freedom
here "held forth" by our venerated ancestors, and earnestly imploring
the favor of His gracious Providence toward this our attempt to
secure, upon a permanent foundation, the advantages of well ordered
and rational Liberty, and to enlarge and transmit to our successors
the inheritance that we have received, do ordain and establish the
following CONSTITUTION of Government for this State:

                               ARTICLE I.


1. In the spirit of and in the words of ROGER WILLIAMS, the illustrious
founder of this state, and of his venerated associates, WE DECLARE
"that this government shall be a DEMOCRACY," or government of the
PEOPLE, "by the major consent" of the same, "ONLY IN CIVIL THINGS." The
will of the people shall be expressed by representatives freely chosen,
and returning at fixed periods to their constituents. This state shall
be and forever remain, as in the design of its founder, sacred to
"SOUL LIBERTY," to the rights of conscience, to freedom of thought, of
expression and of action, as hereinafter set forth and secured.

2. All men are created free and equal and are endowed by their Creator
with certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which
are life, liberty, the acquisition of property and the pursuit of
happiness. Government cannot create or bestow these rights which are
the gift of God, but it is instituted for the stronger and surer
defence of the same; that men may safely enjoy the rights of life and
liberty, securely possess and transmit property, and so far as laws
avail may be successful in the pursuit of happiness.

3. All political power and sovereignty are originally vested in and
of right belong to the PEOPLE. All free governments are founded in
their authority and are established for the greatest good of the whole
number. The PEOPLE have therefore an inalienable and indefeasible right
in their original, sovereign and unlimited capacity to ordain and
institute government, and in the same capacity to alter, reform, or
totally change the same, whenever their safety or happiness requires.

4. No favor or disfavor ought to be shown in legislation toward any
man, or party, or society, or religious denomination. The laws should
be made not for the good of the few, but of the many, and the burdens
of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens.

5. The diffusion of useful knowledge and the cultivation of a sound
morality in the fear of God being of the first importance in a
republican state, and indispensable to the maintenance of its liberty,
it shall be an imperative duty of the legislature to promote the
establishment of free schools and to assist in the support of public

6. Every person in this state ought to find a certain remedy by having
recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which may be done to
his rights of person, property or character. He ought to obtain right
and justice freely and without purchase, completely and without denial,
promptly and without delay, conformably to the laws.

7. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers and possessions against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on complaint in
writing upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
describing, as nearly as may be, the place to be searched, and the
person or things to be seized.

8. No person shall be held to answer to a capital or other infamous
charge unless on indictment by a grand jury except in cases arising in
the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service,
in time of war or public danger. No person shall be tried, after an
acquittal, for the same crime or offence.

9. Every man being presumed to be innocent until pronounced guilty
by the law, all acts of severity that are not necessary to secure an
accused person ought to be repressed.

10. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted, and all punishments ought
to be proportioned to the offence.

11. All prisoners shall be bailable upon sufficient surety, unless for
capital offences, when the proof is evident or the presumption great.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended,
unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety shall
require it.

12. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the privilege
of a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury; be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation; be confronted with the witnesses
against him; have compulsory process to obtain them in his favor, and
at the public expense, when necessary, have the assistance of counsel
in his defence, and be at liberty to speak for himself. Nor shall he be
deprived of his life, liberty or property unless by the judgment of his
peers, or the law of the land.

13. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and in all
criminal cases the jury shall judge both of the law and of the facts.

14. Any person in this state who may be claimed to be held to labor or
service under the laws of any other state, territory or district, shall
be entitled to a jury trial, to ascertain the validity of such claim.

15. No man in a court of common law shall be required to criminate

16. Retrospective laws, civil and criminal, are unjust and oppressive,
and shall not be made.

17. The people have a right to assemble in a peaceable manner, without
molestation or restraint, to consult upon the public welfare; a right
to give instructions to their senators and representatives; and a right
to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress
of grievances, for the repeal of injurious laws, for the correction of
faults of administration, and for all other purposes.

18. The liberty of the press being essential to the security of freedom
in a state, any citizen may publish his sentiments on any subject,
being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for
libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, spoken from good motives
and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defence to the person

19. Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just
compensation; nor unless the public good require it; nor under any
circumstances until compensation shall have been made, if required.

20. The military shall always be held in strict subordination to the
civil authority.

21. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without
the consent of the owner; nor in time of war but in manner to be
prescribed by law.

22. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free, and all attempts
to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil
incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness;
and whereas a principal object of our venerated ancestors in their
migration to this country and their settlement of this state, was,
as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment, that a
flourishing civil state may stand, and be best maintained, with full
liberty in religious concernments. WE therefore DECLARE that no man
shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship,
place or ministry whatsoever, nor be enforced, restrained, molested
or burdened in his body or goods, nor disqualified from holding any
office, nor otherwise suffer on account of his religious belief; and
that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain,
their opinions in matters of religion; and that the same shall in no
wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities; and that all
other religious rights and privileges of the people of this state as
now enjoyed, shall remain inviolate and inviolable.

23. No witness shall be called in question before the legislature,
nor in any court of this state, nor before any magistrate or other
person authorized to administer an oath or affirmation, for his or her
religious belief, or opinions, or any part thereof; and no objection
to a witness, on the ground of his or her religious opinions, shall be
entertained or received.

24. The citizens shall continue to enjoy and freely exercise all the
rights of fishery and privileges of the shore to which they have been
heretofore entitled under the charter and usages of this state.

25. The enumeration of the foregoing rights shall not be construed to
impair nor deny others retained by the people.

                              ARTICLE II.


1. Every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of
twenty-one years, who has resided in this state for one year, and in
any town, city or district of the same for six months next preceding
the election at which he offers to vote, shall be an elector of all
officers, who are elected or may hereafter be made eligible by the
people. But persons in the military, naval or marine service of the
United States shall not be considered as having such established
residence by being stationed in any garrison, barrack or military place
in any town or city in this state.

2. Paupers and persons under guardianship, insane or lunatic are
excluded from the electoral right; and the same shall be forfeited
on conviction of bribery, forgery, perjury, theft, or other infamous
crime; and shall not be restored unless by an act of the General

3. No person who is excluded from voting for want of the qualification
first named in section first of this article, shall be taxed or be
liable to do military duty; provided that nothing in said first article
shall be so construed as to exempt from taxation any property or
persons now liable to be taxed.

4. No elector who is not possessed of and assessed for ratable property
in his own right to the amount of one hundred and fifty dollars, or who
shall have neglected or refused to pay any tax assessed upon him in
any town, city or district for one year preceding the town, city, ward
or district meeting at which he shall offer to vote, shall be entitled
to vote on any question of taxation, or the expenditure of any public
moneys in such town, city or district, until the same be paid.

5. In the city of Providence and other cities no person shall be
eligible to the office of mayor, alderman or common councilman, who is
not taxed or who shall have neglected or refused to pay his tax, as
provided in the preceding section.

6. The voting for all officers chosen by the people, except town or
city officers, shall be by ballot; that is to say, by depositing a
written or printed ticket in the ballot box, without the name of the
voter written thereon. Town or city officers shall be chosen by ballot,
on the demand of any two persons entitled to vote for the same.

7. There shall be a strict registration of all qualified voters in the
towns and cities of the state; and no person shall be permitted to vote
whose name has not been entered upon the list of voters before the
polls are opened.

8. The General Assembly shall pass all necessary laws for the
prevention of fraudulent voting by persons not having an actual
permanent residence or home in the state, or otherwise disqualified
according to this constitution; for the careful registration of all
voters, previously to the time of voting; for the prevention of frauds
upon the ballot box; for the preservation of the purity of elections;
and for the safe keeping and accurate counting of the votes; to the end
that the will of the people may be freely and fully expressed, truly
ascertained and effectually exerted, without intimidation, suppression
or unnecessary delay.

9. The electors shall be exempted from arrest on days of election and
one day before and one day after the same, except in cases of treason,
felony or breach of the peace.

10. No person shall be eligible to any office by the votes of the
people who does not possess the qualifications of an elector.

                              ARTICLE III.

                     OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

1. The powers of the government shall be distributed into three
departments, the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

2. No person or persons connected with one of these departments
shall exercise any of the powers belonging to either of the others,
except in cases herein directed or permitted.

                              ARTICLE IV.


1. The legislative power shall be vested in two distinct houses, the
one to be called the house of representatives, the other the senate,
and both together the General Assembly. The concurrent votes of
the two houses shall be necessary to the enactment of laws; and the
style of their laws shall be--_Be it enacted by the General Assembly as

2. No member of the General Assembly shall be eligible to any
civil office under the authority of the state during the term for which
he shall have been elected.

3. If any representative or senator in the General Assembly of this
state shall be appointed to any office under the government of the
United States, and shall accept the same after his election as such
senator or representative, his seat shall thereby become vacant.

4. Any person who holds an office under the government of the
United States may be elected a member of the General Assembly and
may hold his seat therein if at the time of taking his seat he shall have
resigned said office, and shall declare the same on oath or affirmation,
if required.

5. No member of the General Assembly shall take any fees, be of
counsel, or act as advocate in any case pending before either branch
of the General Assembly, under penalty of forfeiting his seat upon
due proof thereof.

6. Each house shall judge of the election and qualifications of its
members; and a majority of all the members of each house, whom
the towns and senatorial districts are entitled to elect, shall constitute
a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from
day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in
such manner and under such penalties as each house may have previously

7. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish
its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of
two-thirds of the members elected, expel a member; but not a second
time for the same cause.

8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish
the same when required by one-fifth of its members. The yeas and
nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of any five
members present, be entered on the journal.

9. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn
for more than two days, nor to any other place than that at which the
General Assembly is holding its session.

10. The senators and representatives shall in all cases of civil
process be privileged from arrest during the session of the General
Assembly, and for two days before the commencement and two days
after the termination of any session thereof. For any speech in debate
in either house no member shall be called in question in any other

11. The civil and military officers heretofore elected in grand
committee shall hereafter be elected annually by the General Assembly
in joint committee, composed of the two houses of the General
Assembly, excepting as is otherwise provided in this constitution,
and excepting the captains and subalterns of the militia who shall be
elected by the ballots of the members composing their respective
companies, in such manner as the General Assembly may prescribe;
and such officers so elected shall be approved of and commissioned
by the governor, who shall determine their rank, and if said companies
shall neglect or refuse to make such elections after being duly
notified, then the governor shall appoint suitable persons to fill such

12. Every bill and every resolution requiring the concurrence of the
two houses (votes of adjournment accepted) which shall have passed both
houses of the General Assembly, shall be presented to the governor
for his revision. If he approve of it he shall sign and transmit the
same to the secretary of state, but if not he shall return it to the
house in which it shall have originated, with his objections thereto
which shall be entered at large on their journal. The house shall then
proceed to reconsider the bill; and if after such reconsideration
that house shall pass it by a majority of all the members elected,
it shall be sent with the objections to the other house which shall
also reconsider it; and if approved by that house by a majority of all
the members elected it shall become a law. If the bill shall not be
returned by the governor within forty-eight hours (Sundays excepted)
after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a law,
in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly by
their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a

13. There shall be two sessions of the General Assembly in every year;
one session to be held at Newport, on the first Tuesday of June, for
the organization of the government, the election of officers, and for
other business; and one other session on the first Tuesday of January,
to be held at Providence, in the first year after the adoption of this
constitution and in every second year thereafter. In the intermediate
years the January session shall be forever hereafter held in the
counties of Washington, Kent, or Bristol, as the General Assembly may
determine before their adjournment in June.

                               ARTICLE V.


1. The house of representatives shall consist of members chosen
by the electors in the several towns and cities in their respective town
and ward meetings annually.

2. The towns and cities shall severally be entitled to elect members
according to the apportionment which follows, viz: Newport to
elect five; Warwick, four; Smithfield, five; Cumberland, North Providence
and Scituate, three; Portsmouth, Westerly, New Shoreham,
North Kingstown, South Kingstown, East Greenwich, Glocester,
West Greenwich, Coventry, Exeter, Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton,
Warren, Richmond, Cranston, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Johnston,
Foster and Burrillville to elect two; and Jamestown, Middletown
and Barrington to elect one.

3. In the city of Providence there shall be six representative districts,
which shall be the six wards of said city. And the electors
resident in said districts for the term of three months next preceding
the election at which they offer to vote, shall be entitled to elect two
representatives for each district.

4. The General Assembly in case of great inequality in the population
of the wards of the city of Providence, may cause the boundaries of the
six representative districts therein to be so altered as to include in
each district as nearly as may be, an equal number of inhabitants.

5. The house of representatives shall have authority to elect their
own speaker, clerks and other officers. The oath of office shall be
administered to the speaker by the secretary of state, or, in his
absence, by the attorney-general.

6. Whenever the seat of a member of the house of representatives shall
be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy may be
filled by a new election.

                              ARTICLE VI.

                             OF THE SENATE.

1. The state shall be divided into twelve senatorial districts; and
each district shall be entitled to one senator, who shall be annually
chosen by the electors in his district.

2. The first, second and third representative districts in the city of
Providence shall constitute the first senatorial district; the fourth,
fifth and sixth representative districts in said city the second
district; the town of Smithfield the third district; the towns of North
Providence and Cumberland the fourth district; the towns of Scituate,
Glocester, Burrillville and Johnston the fifth district; the towns of
Warwick and Cranston the sixth district; the towns of East Greenwich,
West Greenwich, Coventry and Foster the seventh district; the towns of
Newport, Jamestown and New Shoreham the eighth district; the towns of
Portsmouth, Middletown, Tiverton and Little Compton the ninth district;
the towns of North Kingstown and South Kingstown the tenth district;
the towns of Westerly, Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond and Hopkinton the
eleventh district; the towns of Bristol, Warren and Barrington the
twelfth district.

3. The lieutenant-governor, shall be by virtue of his office, president
of the senate; and shall have a right, in case of an equal division to
vote in the same, and also to vote in joint committe of the two houses.

4. When the government shall be administered by the
lieutenant-governor, or he shall be unable to attend as president of
the senate, the senate shall elect one of their own members president
of the same.

5. Vacancies in the senate occasioned by death, resignation or
otherwise, may be filled by a new election.

6. The secretary of state shall be, by virtue of his office, secretary
of the senate.

                              ARTICLE VII.

                            OF IMPEACHMENTS.

1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and when sitting
for that purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation. No person
shall be convicted except by vote of two-thirds of the members
elected. When the governor is impeached the chief-justice of the
supreme court shall preside, with a casting vote in all preliminary

3. The governor and all other executive and judicial officers shall
be liable to impeachment, but judgments in such cases shall not
extend further than removal from office. The party convicted shall
nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial and punishment, according
to law.

                             ARTICLE VIII.

                      OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

1. The chief executive power of this state, shall be vested in a
governor who shall be chosen by the electors, and shall hold his office
for one year and until his successor be duly qualified.

2. No person holding any office or place under the United States,
this state, any other of the United States, or any foreign power, shall
exercise the office of governor.

3. He shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

4. He shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces
of the state, except when called into the actual service of the United
States; but he shall not march nor convey any of the citizens out of
the state without their consent, or that of the General Assembly, unless
it shall become necessary in order to march or transport them
from one part of the state to another, for the defence thereof.

5. He shall appoint all civil and military officers whose appointment
is not by this constitution, or shall not, by law, be otherwise
provided for.

6. He shall from time to time inform the General Assembly of the
condition of the state, and recommend to their consideration such
measures as he may deem expedient.

7. He may require from any military officer or any officer in the
executive department, information upon any subject relating to the
duties of his office.

8. He shall have power to remit forfeitures and penalties, and to
grant reprieves, commutation of punishments and pardons after conviction,
except in cases of impeachment.

9. The governor shall at stated times receive for his services a
compensation, which shall not be increased nor diminished during his
continuance in office.

10. There shall be elected in the same manner as is provided for
the election of governor, a lieutenant-governor, who shall continue in
office for the same term of time. Whenever the office of governor
shall become vacant by death, resignation, removal from office or
otherwise, the lieutenant-governor shall exercise the office of governor
until another governor shall be duly qualified.

11. Whenever the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor shall
both become vacant by death, resignation, removal from office, or
otherwise, the president of the senate shall exercise the office of
governor until a governor be duly qualified; and should such vacancies
occur during a recess of the General Assembly, and there be no president
of the senate, the secretary of state shall by proclamation convene
the senate, that a president may be chosen to exercise the office
of governor.

12. Whenever the lieutenant-governor or president of the senate
shall exercise the office of governor, he shall receive the compensation
of governor only; and his duties as president of the senate shall cease
while he shall continue to act as governor; and the senate shall fill
the vacancy by an election from their own body.

13. In case of a disagreement between the two houses of the General
Assembly respecting the time or place of adjournment, the person
exercising the office of governor may adjourn them to such time or
place as he shall think proper; provided, that the time of adjournment
shall not be extended beyond the first day of the next stated session.

14. The person exercising the office of governor may, in cases of
special necessity convene the General Assembly at any town or city in
this state, at any other time than herein before provided. And, in
case of danger from the prevalence of epidemic or contagious diseases,
or from other circumstances in the place in which the General Assembly
are next to meet, he may by proclamation convene the Assembly
at any other place within the state.

15. A secretary of state, a general treasurer and an attorney-general
shall also be chosen annually, in the same manner and for the same time
as is herein provided respecting the governor. The duties of these
offices shall be the same as are now or may hereafter be prescribed by
law. Should there be a failure to choose either of them, or should a
vacancy occur in either of their offices, the General Assembly shall
fill the place by an election in joint committee.

16. The electors in each county shall, at the annual elections, vote
for an inhabitant of the county to be sheriff of said county for one
year and until a successor be duly qualified. In case no person shall
have a majority of the electoral votes of his county for sheriff, the
General Assembly, in joint committee, shall elect a sheriff from the
two candidates, who shall have the greatest number of votes in such

17. All commissions shall be in the name of the State of Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations, sealed with the seal of the state, and
attested by the secretary.

                              ARTICLE IX.

                          GENERAL PROVISIONS.

1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and all
laws contrary to or inconsistent with the same which may be passed by
the General Assembly shall be null and void.

2. The General Assembly shall pass all necessary laws for carrying this
constitution into effect.

3. The judges of all the courts, and all other officers, both civil and
military, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to the due observance
of this constitution and of the constitution of the United States.

4. No jurisdiction shall hereafter be entertained by the General
Assembly in cases of insolvency, divorce, sale of real estate of
minors, or appeal from judicial decisions, nor in any other matters
appertaining to the jurisdiction of judges and courts of law. But
the General Assembly shall confer upon the courts of the state all
necessary powers for affording relief in the cases herein named;
and the General Assembly shall exercise all other jurisdiction and
authority which they have heretofore entertained, and which is not
prohibited by, or repugnant to this constitution.

5. The General Assembly shall from time to time cause estimates to be
made of the ratable property of the state, in order to the equitable
apportionment of state taxes.

6. Whenever a direct tax is laid by the state, one-sixth part thereof
shall be assessed on the polls of the qualified electors, provided that
the tax on a poll shall never exceed the sum of fifty cents, and that
all persons who actually perform military duty, or duty in the fire
department, shall be exempted from said poll tax.

7. The General Assembly shall have no power hereafter to incur state
debts to an amount exceeding the sum of fifty thousand dollars, except
in time of war, or in case of invasion, without the express consent of
the people. Every proposition for such increase shall be submitted
to the electors at the next annual election, or on some day to be set
apart for that purpose, and shall not be farther entertained by the
General Assembly, unless it receive the votes of a majority of all the
persons voting. This section shall not be construed to refer to any
money that now is, or hereafter may be, deposited with this state by
the general government.

8. The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of
the General Assembly shall be requisite to every bill appropriating
the public moneys, or property for local or private purposes; or
for creating, continuing, altering or renewing any body politic or
corporate, banking corporations excepted.

9. Hereafter when any bill creating, continuing, altering or renewing
any banking corporation, authorized to issue its promissory notes for
circulation shall pass the two houses of the General Assembly, instead
of being sent to the governor, it shall be referred to the electors
for their consideration at the next annual election, or on some day
to be set apart for that purpose, with printed tickets, containing
the question, shall said bill (with a brief description thereof) be
approved, or not; and if a majority of the electors voting shall vote
to approve said bill it shall become a law, otherwise not.

10. All grants of incorporation shall be subject to future acts of
the General Assembly, in amendment or repeal thereof, or in any wise
affecting the same, and this provision shall be inserted in all acts of
incorporation hereafter granted.

11. The General Assembly shall exercise as heretofore a visitorial
power over corporations. Three bank commissioners shall be chosen at
the June session for one year, to carry out the powers of the General
Assembly in this respect. And commissioners for the visitation of other
corporations, as the General Assembly may deem expedient, shall be
chosen at the June session for the same term of office.

12. No city council or other government in any city shall have power
to vote any tax upon the inhabitants thereof, excepting the amount
necessary to meet the ordinary public expenses in the same, without
first submitting the question of an additional tax or taxes to the
electors of said city; and a majority of all who vote shall determine
the question. But no elector shall be entitled to vote in any city upon
any question of taxation thus submitted, unless he shall be qualified
by the possession in his own right of ratable property to the amount
of one hundred and fifty dollars, and shall have been assessed thereon
to pay a city tax, and shall have paid the same as provided in section
fourth of Article II. Nothing in that article shall be construed as to
prevent any elector from voting for town officers, and in the city of
Providence and other cities for mayor, aldermen, and members of the
common council.

13. The General Assembly shall not pass any law nor cause any act or
thing to be done in any way to disturb any of the owners or occupants
of land in any territory now under the jurisdiction of any other state
or states, the jurisdiction whereof may be ceded to, or decreed to
belong to this state; and the inhabitants of such territory shall
continue in the full, quiet and undisturbed enjoyment of their titles
to the same, without interference in any way on the part of this state.

                               ARTICLE X.

                             OF ELECTIONS.

1. The election of the governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of
state, general treasurer, attorney-general, and also of senators and
representatives to the General Assembly, and of sheriffs of the counties,
shall be held on the third Wednesday of April, annually.

2. The names of the persons voted for as governor, lieutenant-governor,
secretary of state, general treasurer, attorney-general and
sheriffs of the respective counties, shall be put upon one ticket; and
the tickets shall be deposited by the electors in a box by themselves.
The names of the persons voted for as senators and as representatives
shall be put upon separate tickets, and the tickets shall be deposited
in separate boxes. The polls for all the officers named in this section
shall be opened at the same time.

3. All the votes given for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary
of state, general treasurer, attorney-general, sheriffs, and also for
senators shall remain in the ballot boxes till the polls be closed. These
votes shall then, in open town and ward meetings, and in the presence
of at least ten qualified voters, be taken out and sealed up in
separate envelopes by the moderators and town clerks and by the
wardens and ward clerks, who shall certify the same and forthwith
deliver or send them to the secretary of state, whose duty it shall be
securely to keep the same, and to deliver the votes for state officers
and sheriffs to the speaker of the house of representatives after the
house shall be organized at the June session of the General Assembly.
The votes last named shall, without delay, be opened, counted and
declared in such manner as the house of representatives shall direct,
and the oath of office shall be administered to the persons who shall
be declared to be elected by the speaker of the house of representatives,
and in the presence of the house; provided that the sheriffs
may take their engagement before a senator, judge or justice of
the peace. The votes for senators shall be counted by the governor
and secretary of state within seven days from the day of election;
and the governor shall give certificates to the senators who are

4. The boxes containing the votes for representatives to the General
Assembly in the several towns shall not be opened till the polls
for representatives are declared to be closed. The votes shall then be
counted by the moderator and clerk, who shall announce the result
and give certificates to the persons elected. If there be no election,
or not an election of the whole number of representatives to which
the town is entitled, the polls for representatives may be reopened, and
the like proceedings shall be had until an election shall take place;
provided, however, that an adjournment of the election may be made
to a time not exceeding seven days from the first meeting.

5. In the city of Providence and other cities, the polls for
representatives shall be kept open during the whole time of voting
for the day; and the votes in the several wards shall be sealed up
at the close of the meeting by the wardens and ward clerks, in the
presence of at least ten qualified electors, and delivered to the city
clerks. The mayor and aldermen of said city or cities shall proceed to
count said votes within two days from the day of election; and if no
election, or an election of only a portion of the representatives whom
the representative districts are entitled to elect shall have taken
place, the mayor and aldermen shall order a new election, to be held
not more than ten days from the day of the first election; and so on
till the election of representatives shall be completed. Certificates
of election shall be furnished to the persons chosen by the city clerks.

6. If there be no choice of a senator or senators at the annual
election, the governor shall issue his warrant to the town and ward
clerks of the several towns and cities in the senatorial district
or districts that may have failed to elect, requiring them to open
town or ward meetings for another election, on a day not more than
fifteen days beyond the time of counting the votes for senators. If,
on the second trial there shall be no choice of a senator or senators
the governor shall certify the result to the speaker of the house
of representatives; and the house of representatives, and as many
senators as shall have been chosen, shall forthwith elect, in joint
committee, a senator or senators from the two candidates who may
receive the highest number of votes in each district.

7. If there be no choice of governor at the annual election, the
speaker of the house of representatives shall issue his warrant to
the clerks of the several towns and cities requiring them to notify
town and ward meetings for another election, on a day to be named by
him, not more than thirty nor less than twenty days beyond the time of
receiving the report of the committee of the house of representatives,
who shall count the votes for governor. If, on this second trial
there shall be no choice of a governor, the two houses of the General
Assembly, shall, at their next session, in joint committee elect a
governor from the two candidates having the highest number of votes, to
hold his office for the remainder of the political year, and until his
successor be duly qualified.

8. If there be no choice of governor and lieutenant-governor at
the annual election, the same proceedings for the choice of a
lieutenant-governor shall be had as are directed in the preceding
section; provided that the second trial for the election of governor
and lieutenant-governor shall be on the same day; and also provided,
that if the governor shall be chosen at the annual election and the
lieutenant-governor shall not be chosen, then the last named officer
shall be elected in joint committee of the two houses from the two
candidates having the highest number of votes, without a further appeal
to the electors. The lieutenant-governor, elected as is provided in
this section, shall hold his office as is provided in the preceding
section respecting the governor.

9. All town, city and ward meetings for the choice of representatives,
justices of the peace, sheriffs, senators, state officers,
representatives to Congress and electors of president and
vice-president, shall be notified by the town, city and ward clerks at
least seven days before the same are held.

10. In all elections held by the people under this constitution, a
majority of all the electors voting shall be necessary to the choice of
the person or persons voted for.

11. The oath or affirmation to be taken by all the officers named in
this article shall be the following: You, being elected to the place of
governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, general treasurer,
attorney-general, or to the places of senators or representatives, or
to the office of sheriff or justice of the peace, do solemnly swear,
or severally solemnly swear, or affirm, that you will be true and
faithful to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and
that you will support the constitution thereof; that you will support
the constitution of the United States, and that you will faithfully
and impartially discharge the duties of your aforesaid office to the
best of your abilities and understanding--So help you God! or, this
affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.

                              ARTICLE XI.

                           OF THE JUDICIARY.

1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one supreme
court, and in such other courts inferior to the supreme court as the
legislature may, from time to time, ordain and establish; and the
jurisdiction of the supreme and of all other courts, may, from time to
time be regulated by the General Assembly.

2. Chancery powers may be conferred on the supreme court; but
no other court exercising chancery powers shall be established in this
State, except as is now provided by law.

3. The justices of the supreme court shall be elected in joint
committee of the two houses, to hold their offices for one year, and
until their places be declared vacant by a resolution to that effect,
which shall be voted for by a majority of all the members elected to
the house in which it may originate, and be concurred in by the same
vote of the other house, without revision by the governor. Such resolution
shall not be entertained at any other than the annual session
for the election of public officers; and in default of the passage thereof
at the said session, the judge or judges shall hold his or their place or
places for another year. But a judge of any court shall be removable
from office, if upon impeachment, he shall be found guilty of any
official misdemeanor.

4. In case of vacancy by the death, resignation, refusal, or inability
to serve, or removal from the state of a judge of any court, his place
may be filled by the joint committee until the next annual election;
when, if elected, he shall hold his office as herein provided.

5. The justices of the supreme court shall receive a compensation,
which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

6. The judges of the courts inferior to the supreme court shall be
annually elected in joint committee of the two houses, except as
herein provided.

7. There shall be annually elected by each town and by the several
wards in the city of Providence, a sufficient number of justices
of the peace or wardens resident therein with such jurisdiction as
the General Assembly may prescribe. And said justices or wardens,
(except in the towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown) shall be
commissioned by the governor.

8. The General Assembly may provide that justices of the peace
who are not re-elected, may hold their offices for a time not exceeding
ten days beyond the day of the annual election of these officers.

9. The courts of probate in this state, except the supreme court,
shall remain as at present established by law, until the General Assembly
shall otherwise prescribe.

                              ARTICLE XII.

                             OF EDUCATION.

1. All moneys which now are, or may hereafter be appropriated
by the authority of the state to public education, shall be securely
invested, and remain a perpetual fund for the maintenance of free
schools in this state; and the General Assembly are prohibited from
diverting said moneys or fund from this use, and from borrowing,
appropriating or using the same or any part thereof for any other
purpose, or under any pretence whatsoever. But the income derived
from said moneys or fund, shall be annually paid over by the general
treasurer to the towns and cities of the state, for the support of said
schools in equitable proportions; provided, however, that a portion of
said income may, in the discretion of the General Assembly, be added
to the principal of said fund.

2. The several towns and cities shall faithfully devote their portions
of said annual distribution to the support of free schools; and
in default thereof shall forfeit their shares of the same to the increase
of the fund.

3. All charitable donations for the support of free schools and
other purposes of public education, shall be received by the General
Assembly and invested, and applied agreeably to the terms prescribed
by the donors, provided the same be not inconsistent with the constitution,
or with sound public policy; in which case the donation shall
not be received.

                             ARTICLE XIII.


The General Assembly may propose amendments to this constitution
by the vote of a majority of all the members elected to each
house. Such propositions shall be published in the newspapers of
the state; and printed copies of said propositions shall be sent by the
secretary of state, with the names of all the members who shall have
voted thereon, with the yeas and nays, to all the town and city clerks
in the state; and the said propositions shall be by said clerks inserted
in the notices by them issued for warning the next annual town and
ward meetings in April; and the town and ward clerks shall read said
propositions to the electors when thus assembled, with the names of
all the representatives and senators who shall have voted thereon,
with the yeas and nays, before the election of representatives and senators
shall be had. If a majority of all the members elected at said
annual meetings, present in each house, shall approve any proposition
thus made, the same shall be published as before provided and then
sent to the electors in the mode provided in the act of approval; and
if then approved by a majority of the electors who shall vote in town
and ward meetings to be specially convened for that purpose, it shall
become apart of the constitution of the state.

                              ARTICLE XIV.


1. This constitution shall be submitted to the people for their
adoption or rejection, on Monday, the 27th day of December next, and
on the two succeeding days; and all persons voting are requested to
deposit in the ballot-boxes printed or written tickets in the following
form: I am an American citizen, of the age of twenty-one years, and
have my permanent residence or home in this state. I am (or not)
qualified to vote under the existing laws of this state. I vote for
(or against) the constitution formed by the convention of the people,
assembled at Providence, and which was proposed to the people by said
convention, on the 18th day of November, 1841.

2. Every voter is requested to write his name on the face of his
ticket; and every person entitled to vote as aforesaid, who from
sickness or other causes may be unable to attend and vote in the town
or ward meetings, assembled for voting upon said constitution on the
days aforesaid, is requested to write his name upon a ticket, and to
obtain the signature upon the back of the same of a person who has
given his vote as a witness thereto. And the moderator or clerk of any
town or ward meeting convened for the purpose aforesaid, shall receive
such vote on either of the three days next succeeding the three days
before named for voting on said constitution.

3. The citizens of the several towns in this state, and of the several
wards in the city of Providence, are requested to hold town and ward
meetings on the days appointed and for the purpose aforesaid; and also
to choose in each town and ward a moderator and clerk to conduct said
meetings and receive the votes.

4. The moderators and clerks are required to receive and carefully to
keep the votes of all persons qualified to vote as aforesaid, and to
make registers of all the persons voting; which, together with the
tickets given in by the voters shall be sealed up and returned by said
moderators and clerks, with certificates signed and sealed by them,
to the clerks of the convention of the people, to be by them safely
deposited and kept, and laid before said convention to be counted and
declared at their next adjourned meeting on the 12th day of January,

5. This constitution, except so much thereof as relates to the election
of the officers named in the sixth section of this article, shall, if
adopted, go into operation on the first Tuesday in May, in the year one
thousand eight hundred and forty-two.

6. So much of the constitution as relates to the election of officers
named in this section, shall go into operation on the Monday before
the third Wednesday of April next preceding. The first election
under this constitution of governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary
of state, general treasurer and attorney-general, of senators and
representatives, of sheriffs for the several counties, and of justices
of the peace for the several towns and the wards of the city of
Providence, shall take place on the Monday aforesaid.

7. The electors of the several towns and wards are authorized to
assemble on the day aforesaid, without being notified as is provided in
section ninth of Article X., and without the registration required in
section seventh of Article II., and to choose moderators and clerks,
and proceed in the election of the officers named in the preceding

8. The votes given in at the first election for representatives to the
General Assembly and for justices of the peace, shall be counted by
the moderators and clerks of the towns and wards chosen as aforesaid;
and certificates of election shall be furnished by them to the
representatives and justices of the peace elected.

9. Said moderators and clerks shall seal up, certify, and transmit
to the house of representatives all the votes that may be given in
at said first election for governor and state officers, and for
senators and sheriffs; and the votes shall be counted as the house of
representatives may direct.

10. The speaker of the house of representatives shall, at the first
session of the same, qualify himself to administer the oath of office
to the members of the house and to other officers, by taking and
subscribing the same oath in presence of the house.

11. The first session of the General Assembly shall be held in the
city of Providence, on the first Tuesday of May, in the year one
thousand eight hundred and forty-two, with such adjournments as may
be necessary; but all other sessions shall be held as is provided in
Article IV. of this Constitution.

12. If any of the representatives whom the towns or districts are
entitled to choose, at the first annual election aforesaid, shall not
be then elected, or if their places shall become vacant during the
year, the same proceedings may be had to complete the election, or to
supply vacancies as are directed concerning elections in the preceding
sections of this article.

13. If there shall be no election of governor or lieutenant-governor,
or of both of these officers, or of a senator or senators at the first
annual election, the house of representatives and as many senators as
are chosen, shall forthwith elect, in joint committee, a governor or
lieutenant-governor, or both, or a senator or senators, to hold their
offices for the remainder of the political year, and, in the case of
the two officers first named, until their successors shall be duly

14. If the number of the justices of the peace determined by the
several towns and wards on the day of the first annual election shall
not be then chosen, or if vacancies shall occur, the same proceedings
shall be had as are provided for in this article in the case of a
non-election of representatives and senators, or of vacancies in their
offices. The justices of the peace thus elected shall hold office
for the remainder of the political year, or until the second annual
election of justices of the peace to be held on such day as may be
prescribed by the General Assembly.

15. The justices of the peace elected in pursuance of the provisions
of this article may be engaged by the persons acting as moderators of
the town and ward meetings as herein provided; and said justices after
obtaining their certificates of election, may discharge the duties of
their office for a time not exceeding twenty days, without a commission
from the governor.

16. Nothing contained in this article, inconsistent with any of the
provisions of other articles of the constitution shall continue in
force for a longer period than the first political year under the same.

17. The present government shall exercise all the powers with which
it is now clothed, until the said first Tuesday in May, one thousand
eight hundred and forty-two, and until their successors under this
constitution shall be duly elected and qualified.

18. All civil, judicial and military officers now elected, or who
shall hereafter be elected by the General Assembly or other competent
authority, before the said first Tuesday of May, shall hold their
offices and may exercise their powers until that time.

19. All laws and statutes, public and private, now in force and
not repugnant to this constitution, shall continue in force until
they expire by their own limitation, or are repealed by the General
Assembly. All contracts, judgments, actions, and rights of action,
shall be as valid as if this constitution had not been made. All
debts contracted, and engagements entered into before the adoption
of this constitution, shall be as valid against the state as if this
constitution had not been made.

20. The supreme court established by this constitution shall have the
same jurisdiction as the supreme judicial court at present established;
and shall have jurisdiction of all causes which may be appealed to or
pending in the same; and shall be held in the same times and places in
each county as the present supreme judicial court until the General
Assembly shall otherwise prescribe.

21. The citizens of the town of New Shoreham shall be hereafter
exempted from military duty and the duty of serving as jurors in the
courts of this state. The citizens of the town of Jamestown shall be
forever hereafter exempted from military field duty.

22. The General Assembly shall, at their first session after the
adoption of this constitution, propose to the electors the question,
whether the word "white," in the first line of the first section of
Article II. of the constitution shall be stricken out. The question
shall be voted upon at the succeeding annual election; and if a
majority of the electors voting shall vote to strike out the word
aforesaid, it shall be stricken from the constitution; otherwise not.
If the word aforesaid shall be stricken out, section third of Article
II. shall cease to be a part of the constitution.

23. The president, vice-president and secretaries shall certify and
sign this constitution, and cause the same to be published.

Done in convention at Providence, on the eighteenth day of November,
in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and of American
Independence the sixty-sixth.

                        JOSEPH JOSLIN, _President of the Convention_.

                        WAGER WEEDEN,   } _Vice Presidents_.
                        SAMUEL H. WALES,}

      WILLIAM H. SMITH,} _Secretaries_.
      JOHN S. HARRIS   }

                            The State Seal.

The coat of arms of the State is familiar to every citizen, for it is
impressed on public documents and meets the eye on monuments and in
newspapers. Its simplicity and its significance, as well as its correct
heraldry render it superior to that of any of the other states; and the
words by which it is described in our statute book, have a singular
force and beauty. "There shall continue to be one seal for the public
use of the State; the form of an anchor shall be engraven thereon, and
the motto thereof shall be the word HOPE."

This has been the seal of the State ever since the adoption of the
charter, in May, 1664. Previous to that time the seal consisted of
an anchor only, on a shield, without the motto "Hope." At the first
meeting of the General Assembly under the "parliamentary patent,"
in 1647, it was "ordered that the seal of the province shall be an
anchor," and on the margin of the original manuscript, now preserved
in the office of the secretary of state, is simply an anchor upon a
shield, drawn by the pen of the writer.

But this was not the first seal the State may claim to have possessed.
At a meeting of the Newport Colony at Portsmouth, in 1641, six years
before the establishment of the anchor as the seal, it was "ordered,
that a manual seale shall be provided for the State, and that the
signett or engraving thereof, shall be a sheaf of arrows bound up, and
on the liass or band, this motto: _Amor omnia vincit_."

The seal of the anchor with the motto "Hope," was surrounded by a
circle, in which was inscribed the words COLONIE OF RHODE ISLAND AND
PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, and several impressions of it may be found
among the old records of the State. This seal Andros broke, at the
time of his usurpation in 1686-7. But after his expulsion, and on
the reorganization of the General Assembly, 1689-90, a new seal was
ordered, precisely like the old seal, except that the words "Colonie of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" were omitted; nor did these
words ever again form a part of the seal until this year, (1875), when
they were restored by an act of the General Assembly, in January last,
and the date 1636 added. Of course the word "Colonie" was altered to
the word "State."

No impression of the Newport seal--the sheaf of arrows; nor of the seal
under the parliamentary patent--the anchor alone--exists among the
archives of the State. Perhaps some of the antiquarian readers of the
_Journal_ may know where such impressions may be found. And perhaps
also some one may know why the anchor originally came to be chosen as
the device of the seal. Was this the "bearing" of the shield of the
family of Roger Williams, or of any of the families who accompanied
him? Did the idea arise from the depressing circumstances of the
time? If so, why was the word HOPE not added until seventeen years
afterwards, and in comparatively prosperous times? Was there any reason
why the legend "Colonie of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations"
was omitted after the expulsion of Andros? Whence came the cable now
surrounding the shank, and thus converting the anchor into a "foul
anchor"? And whence the rock and the waves, with light-house and ship
in the distance, as is now frequently seen? And how came the shield
altered into unmeaning scroll-work? Is there any more authority for
these changes than the ill-informed fancy of the seal-engravers from
time to time?

       *       *       *       *       *

  NOTE.--For this excellent dissertation on the seal of Rhode Island,
  I am indebted to my friend, the Hon. T. P. Shepard.

                       Governors of Rhode Island.

The State originally consisted of four towns: Providence, settled in 1636;
Portsmouth, in 1638; Newport, in 1639; and Warwick, in 1642. Each town was
governed independently until 1647. Providence and Warwick had no executive
head till 1647.



  William Coddington,                 March 7, 1638 to April 30. 1639.
  William Hutchinson,                April 30, 1639 to March 12, 1640.



  William Coddington,                April 28, 1639 to March 12, 1640.

                       PORTSMOUTH AND NEWPORT.[B]


  William Coddington,                  March 12, 1640 to May 19, 1647.

In 1647 the four towns were united under a charter or patent, granted in
1643, by Parliament.

  [B] United in 1640.

                      PRESIDENTS UNDER THE PATENT.

  John Coggeshall,                             May, 1647 to May, 1648.
  William Coddington,                          May, 1648 to May, 1649.
  John Smith,                                  May, 1649 to May, 1650.
  Nicholas Easton,                            May, 1650 to Aug., 1651.

In 1651 a separation occurred between the towns of Providence and Warwick
on the one side, and Portsmouth and Newport on the other.

                        PROVIDENCE AND WARWICK.


  Samuel Gorton,                              Oct., 1651 to May, 1652.
  John Smith,                                  May, 1652 to May, 1653.
  Gregory Dexter,                              May, 1653 to May, 1654.

                        PORTSMOUTH AND NEWPORT.


  John Sandford, Senior                        May, 1653 to May, 1654.

In 1654 the union of the four towns was reëstablished.


  Nicholas Easton,                        May, 1654 to Sept. 12, 1654.
  Roger Williams,                            Sept., 1654 to May, 1657.
  Benedict Arnold,                             May, 1657 to May, 1660.
  William Brenton,                             May, 1660 to May, 1662.
  Benedict Arnold,                         May, 1662 to Nov. 25, 1663.

                             ROYAL CHARTER.


  Benedict Arnold,                            Nov., 1663 to May, 1666.
  William Brenton,                             May, 1666 to May, 1669.
  Benedict Arnold,                             May, 1669 to May, 1672.
  Nicholas Easton,                             May, 1672 to May, 1674.
  William Coddington,                          May, 1674 to May, 1676.
  Walter Clarke,                               May, 1676 to May, 1677.
  Benedict Arnold,                        1677 to June 20, 1678. Died.
  William Coddington,             Aug. 28, 1678 to Nov. 1, 1678. Died.
  John Cranston,                   Nov., 1678 to March 12, 1680. Died.
  Peleg Sandford,                         March 16, 1680 to May, 1683.
  William Coddington, Jr.,                     May, 1683 to May, 1685.
  Henry Bull,                                  May, 1685 to May, 1686.
  Walter Clarke,[C]                        May, 1686 to June 29, 1686.
  Henry Bull,                                 Feb. 27, to May 7, 1690.
  John Easton,                                 May, 1690 to May, 1695.
  Caleb Carr,                        May, 1695 to Dec. 17, 1695. Died.
  Walter Clarke,                            Jan., 1696 to March, 1698.
  Samuel Cranston,                  May, 1698 to April 26, 1727. Died.
  Joseph Jenckes,                              May, 1727 to May, 1732.
  William Wanton,                       May, 1732 to Dec., 1733. Died.
  John Wanton,                        May, 1734 to July 5, 1740. Died.
  Richard Ward,                            July 15, 1740 to May, 1743.
  William Greene,                              May, 1743 to May, 1745.
  Gideon Wanton,                               May, 1745 to May, 1746.
  William Greene,                              May, 1746 to May, 1747.
  Gideon Wanton,                               May, 1747 to May, 1748.
  William Greene,                              May, 1748 to May, 1755.
  Stephen Hopkins,                             May, 1755 to May, 1757.
  William Greene,                    May, 1757 to Feb. 22, 1758. Died.
  Stephen Hopkins,                        March 14, 1758 to May, 1762.
  Samuel Ward,                                 May, 1762 to May, 1763.
  Stephen Hopkins,                             May, 1763 to May, 1765.
  Samuel Ward,                                 May, 1765 to May, 1767.
  Stephen Hopkins,                             May, 1767 to May, 1768.
  Josias Lyndon,                               May, 1768 to May, 1769.
  Joseph Wanton,                        1769 to Nov. 7, 1775. Deposed.
  Nicholas Cooke,                             Nov., 1775 to May, 1778.
  William Greene,                                   May, 1778 to 1786.
  John Collins,                                     May, 1786 to 1790.
  Arthur Fenner,[D]                                1790 to 1805. Died.
  James Fenner,                                     May, 1807 to 1811.
  William Jones,                                    May, 1811 to 1817.
  Nehemiah R. Knight,[E]                    May, 1817 to Jan. 9, 1821.
  William C. Gibbs,                                 May, 1821 to 1824.
  James Fenner,                                     May, 1824 to 1831.
  Lemuel H. Arnold,                                      1831 to 1833.
  John Brown Francis,                                    1833 to 1838.
  William Sprague,[F]                                    1838 to 1839.
  Samuel Ward King,                                      1840 to 1843.

  [C] The charter was suspended till 1689. The Deputy-Governor, John
      Coggeshall, acted as Governor during the interval, Governor
      Clarke refusing to serve.

  [D] Paul Mumford, Deputy-Governor, died. Henry Smith, First Senator,
       officiated as Governor. In 1806, no election; Isaac Wilbour,
       Lieutenant-Governor, officiated.

  [E] Elected United States Senator January 9, 1821, for unexpired term
      of James Burrill, Jr., deceased.

  [F] In 1839 no choice; Samuel Ward King was First Senator and

                        UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.
                           (Adopted in 1842.)

  James Fenner,                                          1843 to 1845.
  Charles Jackson,                                       1845 to 1846.
  Byron Diman,                                           1846 to 1847.
  Elisha Harris,                                         1847 to 1849.
  Henry B. Anthony,                                      1849 to 1851.
  Philip Allen,[G]                                       1851 to 1853.
  William Warner Hoppin,                                 1854 to 1857.
  Elisha Dyer,                                           1857 to 1859.
  Thomas G. Turner,                                      1859 to 1860.
  William Sprague,                    1860 to March 3, 1863. Resigned.
  William C. Cozzens,[H]                   March 3, 1863 to May, 1863.
  James Y. Smith,                                        1863 to 1866.
  Ambrose E. Burnside,                                   1866 to 1869.
  Seth Padelford,                                        1869 to 1873.
  Henry Howard,                                          1873 to 1875.
  Henry Lippitt,                                         1875 to ----

  [G] Resigned July 20, 1853, having been elected United States Senator
      May 4, 1853. Lieutenant-Governor, F. M. Dimond, officiated.

  [H] Governor Sprague resigned March 3, 1863, and Lieutenant-Governor
      Arnold having been elected to the Senate Mr. Cozzens became
      Governor by virtue of his office as President of the Senate.

                           Deputy Governors.

  William Brenton,                     March 12, 1640 to May 10, 1647.

    From 1647 to 1663 the colony governed by a president, with four

  William Brenton,                                       1663 to 1666.
  Nicholas Easton,                                       1666 to 1669.
  John Clarke,                                           1669 to 1670.
  Nicholas Easton,                                       1670 to 1671.
  John Clarke,                                           1671 to 1672.
  John Cranston,                                         1672 to 1673.
  William Coddington,                                    1673 to 1674.
  John Easton,                                           1674 to 1676.
  John Cranston,                                         1676 to 1678.
  James Barker,                                          1678 to 1679.
  Walter Clarke,                                         1679 to 1686.
  John Coggeshall,                                  May to June, 1686.

                   (Charter suspended, 1686 to 1690.)

  John Coggeshall,                                               1690.
  John Greene,                                           1690 to 1700.
  Walter Clarke,                                   1700 to 1714. Died.
  Henry Tew,                                             1714 to 1715.
  Joseph Jencks,                                         1715 to 1721.
  John Wanton,                                           1721 to 1722.
  Joseph Jencks,                                         1722 to 1727.
  Jonathan Nicholls,                        May to August, 1727. Died.
  Thomas Frye,                                           1727 to 1729.
  John Wanton,                                           1729 to 1734.
  George Hassard,                                  1734 to 1738. Died.
  Daniel Abbott,                                         1738 to 1740.
  Richard Ward,                                     May to July, 1740.
  William Greene,                                        1740 to 1743.
  Joseph Whipple,                                        1743 to 1745.
  William Robinson,                                      1745 to 1746.
  Joseph Whipple,                                        1746 to 1747.
  William Robinson,                                      1747 to 1748.
  William Ellery,                                        1748 to 1750.
  Robert Haszard,                                        1750 to 1751.
  Joseph Whipple,                                        1751 to 1753.
  Jonathan Nichols,                                      1753 to 1754.
  John Gardner,                                          1754 to 1755.
  Jonathan Nichols,                                      1755 to 1756.
  John Gardner,                                          1756 to 1764.
  Joseph Wanton, Jr.,                                    1764 to 1765.
  Elisha Brown,                                          1765 to 1767.
  Joseph Wanton, Jr.,                                    1767 to 1768.
  Nicholas Cooke,                                        1768 to 1769.
  Darius Sessions,                                       1769 to 1775.
  Nicholas Cooke,                               May to November, 1775.
  William Bradford,                                      1775 to 1778.
  Jabez Bowen,                                           1778 to 1780.
  William West,                                          1780 to 1781.
  Jabez Bowen,                                           1781 to 1786.
  Daniel Owen,                                           1786 to 1790.
  Samuel J. Potter,                                      1790 to 1799.

           The title was now changed to lieutenant-governor.


  Samuel J. Potter,                           Feb., 1799 to May, 1799.
  George Brown,                                          1799 to 1800.
  Samuel J. Potter,                                      1800 to 1803.
  Paul Mumford,                                          1803 to 1806.
  Isaac Wilbour,                                         1806 to 1807.
  Constant Taber,                                        1807 to 1808.
  Simeon Martin,                                         1808 to 1810.
  Isaac Wilbour,                                         1810 to 1811.
  Simeon Martin,                                         1811 to 1816.
  Jeremiah Thurston,                                     1816 to 1817.
  Edward Wilcox,                                         1817 to 1821.
  Caleb Earle,                                           1821 to 1824.
  Charles Collins,                                       1824 to 1833.
  Jeffrey Hazard,                                        1833 to 1835.
  George Engs,                                           1835 to 1836.
  Jeffrey Hazard,                                        1836 to 1837.
  Benjamin B. Thurston,                                  1837 to 1838.
  Joseph Childs,                                         1838 to 1840.
  Byron Diman,                                           1840 to 1842.
  Nathaniel Bullock,                                     1842 to 1843.
  Byron Diman,                                           1843 to 1846.
  Elisha Harris,[I]                                      1846 to 1847.
  Edward W. Lawton,                                      1847 to 1849.
  Thomas Whipple,                                        1849 to 1851.
  William Beach Lawrence,                                1851 to 1852.
  Samuel G. Arnold,                                      1852 to 1853.
  Francis M. Dimond,                                     1853 to 1854.
  John J. Reynolds,                                      1854 to 1855.
  Anderson C. Rose,                                      1855 to 1856.
  Nicholas Brown,                                        1856 to 1857.
  Thomas G. Turner,                                      1857 to 1859.
  Isaac Saunders,                                        1859 to 1860.
  J. Russell Bullock,                                    1860 to 1861.
  Samuel G. Arnold,                                      1861 to 1863.
  Seth Padelford,                                        1863 to 1865.
  Duncan C. Pell,                                        1865 to 1866.
  William Greene,                                        1866 to 1868.
  Pardon W. Stevens,                                     1868 to 1872.
  Charles R. Cutler,                                     1872 to 1873.
  Charles C. Van Zandt,[I]                               1873 to 1875.
  Henry T. Sisson,[I]                                    1875 to -----

 [I] Elected by the Assembly: no choice by the people.


                                 OF THE

                          Continental Congress

                           FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  Jonathan Arnold,                                    1782 to 1783.
  Peleg Arnold,                                       1787 to 1789.
  John Collins,                                       1778 to 1782.
  Ezekiel Cornell,                                    1780 to 1782.
  William Ellery,                                     1776 to 1784.
  Jonathan J. Hazard,                                 1787 to 1789.
  Stephen Hopkins,                                    1774 to 1779.
  David Howell,                                       1782 to 1784.
  James Manning,                                        Feb., 1786.
  Henry Marchant,                               Feb., 1777 to 1784.
  Nathan Miller,                                        Feb., 1786.
  Daniel Mowry,                                       1780 to 1781.
  James M. Varnum,                                  1780, '81, '86.
  Samuel Ward,                                        1774 to 1775.
  John Gardner,                                       1788 to 1789.
  William Bradford,[J]                                  Oct., 1776.
  John Brown,[J]                                              1785.
  George Champlin,[J]                                 1785 to 1786.
  Paul Mumford,[J]                                            1785.
  Peter Phillips,[J]                                          1785.
  Sylvester Gardner,[J]                                       1787.
  Thomas Holden,[J]                                   1788 to 1789.

  [J] Duly elected, but their names are not in the Journals of Congress.

                         Towns in Rhode Island,

                      DATE OF INCORPORATION, ETC.

 BRISTOL CO.     |Feb'y 17, 1746-47|Incorporated with same county
                 |                 | limits as at present. Originally
                 |                 | the county consisted of two towns,
                 |                 | Bristol and Warren. Afterwards,
                 |                 | June, 1770, Warren was divided,
                 |                 | and the Town of Barrington was
                 |                 | incorporated.
                 |                 |
 Barrington      |June 16, 1770    |Taken from Warren, which see.
                 |                 |
 Bristol         |Jan'y 27, 1746-47|Five towns received from
                 |                 | Massachusetts this date. A portion
                 |                 | of Bristol annexedto Warren, May
                 |                 | 30, 1873.
                 |                 |
 Warren          |Jan'y 27, 1746-47|See Bristol. The territory of the
                 |                 | Town of Warren, when admitted to
                 |                 | the State, included the Town of
                 |                 | Barrington, and a portion of the
                 |                 | towns of Swanzey and Rehoboth, in
                 |                 | Massachusetts. In 1770 Warren was
                 |                 | divided, and one of the original
                 |                 | names (Barrington) was given to
                 |                 | the new town.
                 |                 |
 KENT CO.        |June 15, 1750    |Taken from Providence County.
                 |                 | Incorporated with the same county
                 |                 | limits as at present, and same
                 |                 | towns.
                 |                 |
 Coventry        |August 21, 1741  |Taken from Warwick.
                  |                |
 East Greenwich  |October 31, 1677 |Incorporated as the Town of East
                 |                 | Greenwich. Name changed to
                 |                 | Dedford, June 23, 1686. The
                 |                 | original name restored in 1689.
                 |                 | The town divided in 1741.
                 |                 |
 West Greenwich  |April 6, 1741    |Taken from East Greenwich, which
                 |                 | see.

 Warwick         |Original town    |First settled January, 1642-43.
                 |                 | Named from Earl of Warwick, who
                 |                 | signed the Patent of Providence
                 |                 | Plantations, March 14, 1643. The
                 |                 | first action of the inhabitants as
                 |                 | a town was August 8, 1647. Indian
                 |                 | name, Shawomet.
                 |                 |
 NEWPORT CO.     |June 22, 1703    |Originally incorporated as Rhode
                 |                 | Island County, June 16, 1729,
                 |                 | incorporated as Newport County,
                 |                 | and included Newport, Portsmouth,
                 |                 | Jamestown and New Shoreham.
                 |                 |
 Fall River      |October 6, 1856  |Taken from Tiverton. Ceded to
                 |                 | Massachusetts in the settlement of
                 |                 | the boundary question. March 1,
                 |                 | 1862. See Pawtucket and East
                 |                 | Providence.
                 |                 |
 Jamestown       |November 4, 1678 |Named in honor of King James.
                 |                 | Indian name Quononoqutt
                 |                 | (Conanicut).
                 |                 |
 Little Compton  |Jan'y 27, 1746-47|One of the five towns received from
                 |                 | Massachusetts. Annexed to Newport
                 |                 | County February 17, 1746-47.
                 |                 | Indian name, Seaconnet.
                 |                 |
 Middletown      |June 16, 1743    |Town in the "middle" of the island.
                 |                 | Taken from Newport.
                 |                 |
 Newport         |Original town    |Settled in 1639. Line between
                 |                 | Newport and Portsmouth established
                 |                 | September 14, 1640. Incorporated
                 |                 | as a city June 1, 1784. City
                 |                 | charter given up March 27, 1787.
                 |                 | City incorporated the second time
                 |                 | at the May session, 1853, and the
                 |                 | charter accepted May 20, 1853.
                 |                 |
 New Shoreham    |November 6, 1672 |Admitted to Colony as Block Island,
                 |                 | May 4, 1664. When incorporated in
                 |                 | 1672, name changed to New Shoreham
                 |                 | "as signes of our unity and
                 |                 | likeness to many parts of our
                 |                 | native country." Indian name
                 |                 | Mannasses or Manisses.
                 |                 |
 Portsmouth      |Original town    |Settled in 1638. Indian name
                 |                 | Pocasset. "At a quarter meeting of
                 |                 | the first of ye 5th month 1639, it
                 |                 | is agreed upon to call this town
                 |                 | Portsmouth." At the "Generall
                 |                 | Courte" at "Nieuport" 12th of 1st
                 |                 | month, 1640, the name of
                 |                 | Portsmouth was confirmed.
                 |                 |
 Tiverton        |Jan'y 27, 1746-47|One of the five towns received this
                 |                 | date from Massachusetts. See
                 |                 | Bristol, Warren, &c. Indian name
                 |                 | Annexed to Newport County,
                 |                 | February 17, 1746-47.

 PROVIDENCE CO.  |June 22, 1703    |Originally incorporated as the
                 |                 | County of Providence Plantations,
                 |                 | and included the present territory
                 |                 | of Providence, Kent and Washington
                 |                 | counties, excepting the present
                 |                 | towns of Cumberland, Pawtucket and
                 |                 | East Providence. The name was
                 |                 | changed to Providence County June
                 |                 | 16, 1729. See Kent and Washington
                 |                 | counties.
                 |                 |
 Burrillville    |October 29, 1806 |Taken from Glocester. The town was
                 |                 | first authorized to meet to elect
                 |                 | officers, Nov. 17, 1806. Named
                 |                 | from Hon. James Burrill.
                 |                 |
 Cranston        |June 14, 1754    |Taken from Providence. Probably
                 |                 | named from Samuel Cranston, who was
                 |                 | Governor of Rhode Island from
                 |                 | March, 1698, to April 26, 1727,
                 |                 | when he died. A portion re-united
                 |                 | to Providence, June 10, 1868, and
                 |                 | March 28, 1873.
                 |                 |
 Cumberland      |Jan'y 27, 1746-47|One of the five towns received this
                 |                 | date. See Tiverton, Bristol, &c.
                 |                 | Until incorporated in Rhode Island
                 |                 | it was known as Attleboro Gore.
                 |                 | Named from Cumberland, England.
                 |                 | Annexed to Providence County,
                 |                 | February 17, 1746-47. A portion of
                 |                 | Cumberland was incorporated as the
                 |                 | Town of Woonsocket, January 31,
                 |                 | 1867.
                 |                 |
 East Providence |March 1, 1862    |The westerly part of Rehoboth,
                 |                 | Massachusetts, was incorporated as
                 |                 | Seekonk, February 26, 1812. The
                 |                 | westerly part of Seekonk was
                 |                 | annexed to Rhode Island,
                 |                 | incorporated as a town, and named
                 |                 | East Providence in the settlement
                 |                 | of the boundary question in 1862.
                 |                 | See Pawtucket and Fall River.
                 |                 |
 Foster          |August 24, 1781  |Taken from Scituate. Named probably
                 |                 | from Hon. Theodore Foster.
                 |                 |
 Glocester       |Feb'y 20, 1730-31|Taken from Providence. At this date
                 |                 | an act was passed "for erecting
                 |                 | and incorporating the outlands of
                 |                 | the Town of Providence into three
                 |                 | towns." These towns were Scituate,
                 |                 | Glocester and Smithfield.
                 |                 |
 Johnston        |March 6, 1759    |Taken from Providence, and named in
                 |                 | honor of Augustus Johnston, Esq.,
                 |                 | the attorney-general of the Colony
                 |                 | at that time.

 Lincoln         |March 8, 1871    |Taken from Smithfield, and named in
                 |                 | honor of Abraham Lincoln, late
                 |                 | President of the United States.

 North Providence|June 13, 1765    |Taken from Providence. A small
                 |                 | portion reunited to Providence
                 |                 | June 29, 1767, and March 28, 1873.
                 |                 | The town was divided March 27,
                 |                 | 1874, a portion was annexed to the
                 |                 | City of Providence and a portion
                 |                 | to the Town of Pawtucket. The act
                 |                 | went into effect May 1, 1874.
                 |                 |
 North Smithfield|March 8, 1871    |Taken from Smithfield, and
                 |                 | incorporated as the Town of
                 |                 | Slater. Name changed to North
                 |                 | Smithfield, March 24, 1871.
                 |                 |
 Pawtucket       |March 1, 1862    |Name of Indian origin. Part of
                 |                 | Seekonk, Mass., was incorporated
                 |                 | as the Town of Pawtucket, March 1,
                 |                 | 1828. The whole Town of Pawtucket
                 |                 | except a small portion lying
                 |                 | easterly of Seven Mile River was
                 |                 | annexed to Rhode Island, with East
                 |                 | Providence, which see. A portion
                 |                 | of the Town of North Providence
                 |                 | annexed to Pawtucket, May 1, 1874.
                 |                 |
 Providence      | Original town   |Settled in 1636. Named Providence
                 |                 | by Roger Williams, "in gratitude
                 |                 | to his supreme deliverer."
                 |                 | Originally comprised the whole
                 |                 | county. City incorporated in 1832.
                 |                 | Portions of the Town of Cranston
                 |                 | were re-annexed to Providence June
                 |                 | 10, 1768, and March 28,1873.
                 |                 | Portions of North Providence were
                 |                 | re-annexed June 29, 1767, March
                 |                 | 28, 1873, and May 1, 1874.
                 |                 |
 Scituate        |Feb'y 20, 1730-31|Taken from Providence. See
                 |                 | Glocester.
                 |                 |
 Smithfield      |Feb'y 20, 1730-31|Taken from Providence. See
                 |                 | Glocester.  The town was divided
                 |                 | March 8, 1871,  a portion being
                 |                 | annexed to Woonsocket, and the
                 |                 | remainder divided into three
                 |                 | towns. See Lincoln and North
                 |                 | Smithfield.
                 |                 |
 Woonsocket      |Jan'y 31, 1867   |Name of Indian origin. Taken from
                 |                 | Cumberland. A portion of
                 |                 | Smithfield was annexed to
                 |                 | Woonsocket March 8, 1871.
 WASHINGTON CO.  |June 16, 1729    |Originally called the "Narragansett
                 |                 | country." Named King's Province,
                 |                 | March 20, 1654. Boundaries
                 |                 | established May 21, 1669.
                 |                 | Incorporated June, 1729, as King's
                 |                 | County, with three towns and same
                 |                 | territory as at present. Name
                 |                 | changed to Washington County,
                 |                 | October 29, 1781.
                 |                 |
 Charlestown     |August 22, 1738  |Taken from Westerly.
                 |                 |
 Exeter          |March 8, 1742-43 |Taken from North Kingstown.

 Hopkinton       |March 19, 1757   |Taken from Westerly.
                 |                 |
 North Kingstown |October 28, 1674 |First settlement, 1641.
                 |                 | Incorporated in 1674, under the
                 |                 | name of King's Towne, as the
                 |                 | seventh town in the Colony.
                 |                 | Incorporation reaffirmed in 1679.
                 |                 | Name changed to Rochester June 23,
                 |                 | 1686. Name restored in 1689; see
                 |                 | East Greenwich. Kingstown, divided
                 |                 | into North and South Kingstown,
                 |                 | February, 1722. The act provided
                 |                 | that North Kingstown should be the
                 |                 | oldest town.
                 |                 |
 South Kingstown |Feb'y 26, 1722-23|See North Kingstown. Pettiquamscut
                 |                 | settled January 20, 1657-58.
                 |                 |
 Richmond        |August 18, 1747  |Taken from Charlestown.
                 |                 |
 Westerly        |May 14, 1669     |Original name Misquamicut.
                 |                 | Incorporated in May, 1669, under
                 |                 | the name of Westerly, as the fifth
                 |                 | town in the Colony. Name of
                 |                 | Westerly changed to Haversham,
                 |                 | June 23, 1686, but soon restored.

NOTE.--In several cases the exact date of the passage of the act of
incorporation of towns cannot be ascertained. In such cases the date
of the meeting of the General Assembly at which the act was passed is

                   Total Population of Rhode Island,

                           FROM 1708 TO 1875.

 TOWNS AND        |Settled    | 1708.| 1730.| 1748.| 1755.| 1774.| 1776.
 DIVISIONS        |or         |      |      |      |      |      |
 OF THE STATE.    |Incorpa'td.|      |      |      |      |      |
 Barrington,      |   1770    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  601 |   538
 Bristol,         |   1747    |  --  |  --  | 1,069| 1,080| 1,209| 1,067
 Warren,          |   1747    |  --  |  --  |   680|   925|   979| 1,005
                  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------
 BRISTOL CO.,     |   1747    |  --  |  --  | 1,749| 2,005| 2,789| 2,610
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 Coventry,        |   1741    |  --  |  --  |   792| 1,178| 2,023| 2,300
 East Greenwich,  |   1677    |   240| 1,223| 1,044| 1,167| 1,663| 1,664
 West Greenwich,  |   1741    |  --  |  --  |   766| 1,246| 1,764| 1,653
 Warwick,         |   1643    |   480| 1,178| 1,782| 1,911| 2,438| 2,376
                  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------
 KENT CO.,        |   1750    |   720| 2,401| 4,384| 5,502| 7,888| 7,993
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 Fall River,      |   1856    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
 Jamestown,       |   1678    |   206|   321|   420|   517|   563|   322
 Little Compton,  |   1747    |  --  |  --  | 1,152| 1,170| 1,232| 1,302
 Middletown,      |   1743    |  --  |  --  |   680|   778|   881|   860
 Newport,         |   1639    | 2,203| 4,640| 6,508| 6,753| 9,209| 5,299
 New Shoreham,    |   1672    |   208|   290|   300|   378|   575|   478
 Portsmouth,      |   1638    |   628|   813|   992| 1,363| 1,512| 1,347
 Tiverton,        |   1747    |  --  |  --  | 1,040| 1,325| 1,956| 2,091
                  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------
 NEWPORT CO.,     |   1703    | 3,245| 6,064|11,092|12,284|15,928|11,699
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 Burrillville,    |   1806    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
 Cranston,        |   1754    |  --  |  --  |  --  | 1,460| 1,861| 1,701
 Cumberland,      |   1747    |  --  |  --  |   806| 1,083| 1,756| 1,686
 East Providence, |   1862    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
 Foster,          |   1781    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
 Glocester,       |   1731    |  --  |  --  | 1,202| 1,511| 2,945| 2,832
 Johnston,        |   1759    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  | 1,031| 1,022
 North Providence,|   1765    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |   830|   813
 Pawtucket,       |   1862    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --
 Scituate,        |   1731    |  --  |  --  | 1,232| 1,813| 3,601| 3,289
 Smithfield,      |   1731    |  --  |  --  |   450| 1,921| 2,888| 2,781
                  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------
 TOWNS, Prov. Co.,|   1703    |  --  |  --  | 3,690| 7,788|14,912|14,124
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 PROVIDENCE CITY, |   1636    | 1,446| 3,916| 3,452| 3,159| 4,321| 4,355
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 Charlestown,     |   1738    |  --  |  --  | 1,002| 1,130| 1,821| 1,835
 Exeter,          |   1743    |  --  |  --  | 1,174| 1,404| 1,864| 1,982
 Hopkinton,       |   1757    |  --  |  --  |  --  |  --  | 1,808| 1,845
 North Kingstown, |   1674    | 1,200| 2,105| 1,935| 2,109| 2,472| 2,761
 South Kingstown, |   1723    |  --  | 1,523| 1,978| 1,913| 2,835| 2,779
 Richmond,        |   1747    |  --  |  --  |   508|   829| 1,257| 1,204
 Westerly,        |   1669    |   570| 1,926| 1,809| 2,291| 1,812| 1,824
                  |           +------+------+------+------+------+------
 WASHINGTON CO.,  |   1729    | 1,770| 5,554| 8,406| 9,676|13,869|14,230
                  |           |      |      |      |      |      |
 WHOLE STATE,     |   1636    | 7,181|17,935|32,773|40,414|59,707|55,011

 NOTE.--The permission to use these valuable tables I owe to Hon. J. M.
 Addeman, Secretary of State.

 TOWNS AND        |  1782. |  1790. |  1800. |  1810. |  1820. |  1830.
 DIVISIONS        |        |        |        |        |        |
 Barrington,      |    534 |    683 |    650 |    604 |    634 |    612
 Bristol,         |  1,032 |  1,406 |  1,678 |  2,693 |  3,197 |  3,034
 Warren,          |    905 |  1,122 |  1,473 |  1,775 |  1,806 |  1,800
 BRISTOL CO.,     |  2,471 |  3,211 |  3,801 |  5,072 |  5,637 |  5,446
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Coventry,        |  2,107 |  2,447 |  2,423 |  2,928 |  3,139 |  3,851
 East Greenwich,  |  1,609 |  1,824 |  1,775 |  1,530 |  1,519 |  1,591
 West Greenwich,  |  1,698 |  2,054 |  1,757 |  1,619 |  1,927 |  1,817
 Warwick,         |  2,112 |  2,493 |  2,532 |  3,757 |  3,643 |  5,529
 KENT CO.,        |  7,526 |  8,848 |  8,487 |  9,834 | 10,228 | 12,788
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Fall River,      |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |     --
 Jamestown,       |    345 |    507 |    501 |    504 |    448 |    415
 Little Compton,  |  1,341 |  1,542 |  1,577 |  1,553 |  1,580 |  1,378
 Middletown,      |    674 |    840 |    913 |    976 |    949 |    915
 Newport,         |  5,530 |  6,716 |  6,739 |  7,907 |  7,319 |  8,010
 New Shoreham,    |    478 |    682 |    714 |    722 |    955 |  1,185
 Portsmouth,      |  1,350 |  1,560 |  1,684 |  1,795 |  1,645 |  1,727
 Tiverton,        |  1,959 |  2,453 |  2,717 |  2,837 |  2,875 |  2,905
 NEWPORT CO.,     | 11,677 | 14,300 | 14,845 | 16,294 | 15,771 | 16,535
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Burrillville,    |     -- |     -- |     -- |  1,834 |  2,164 |  2,196
 Cranston,        |  1,589 |  1,877 |  1,644 |  2,161 |  2,274 |  2,652
 Cumberland,      |  1,548 |  1,964 |  2,056 |  2,210 |  2,653 |  3,675
 East Providence, |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |    --  |     --
 Foster,          |  1,763 |  2,268 |  2,457 |  2,613 |  2,900 |  2,672
 Glocester,       |  2,791 |  4,025 |  4,009 |  2,310 |  2,504 |  2,521
 Johnston,        |    996 |  1,320 |  1,364 |  1,516 |  1,542 |  2,115
 North Providence,|    698 |  1,071 |  1,067 |  1,758 |  2,420 |  3,503
 Pawtucket,       |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |    --
 Scituate,        |  1,628 |  2,315 |  2,523 |  2,568 |  2,834 |  3,993
 Smithfield,      |  2,217 |  3,171 |  3,120 |  3,828 |  4,678 |  6,857
 TOWNS, PROV. CO.,| 13,230 | 18,011 | 18,240 | 20,798 | 23,969 | 30,184
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 PROVIDENCE CITY, |  4,310 |  6,380 |  7,614 | 10,071 | 11,767 | 16,836
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Charlestown,     |  1,523 |  2,022 |  1,454 |  1,174 |  1,160 |  1,284
 Exeter,          |  2,058 |  2,495 |  2,476 |  2,256 |  2,581 |  2,383
 Hopkinton,       |  1,735 |  2,462 |  2,276 |  1,774 |  1,821 |  1,777
 North Kingstown, |  2,328 |  2,907 |  2,794 |  2,957 |  3,007 |  3,036
 South Kingstown, |  2,675 |  4,131 |  3,438 |  3,560 |  3,723 |  3,663
 Richmond,        |  1,094 |  1,760 |  1,368 |  1,330 |  1,423 |  1,363
 Westerly,        |  1,720 |  2,298 |  2,329 |  1,911 |  1,972 |  1,915
 WASHINGTON CO.,  | 13,133 | 18,075 | 16,135 | 14,962 | 15,687 | 15,421
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 WHOLE STATE,     | 52,347 | 68,825 | 69,122 | 77,031 | 83,059 | 97,210

 TOWNS AND        | 1840.  | 1850.  | 1860.  |  1865. |  1870. |  1875.
 DIVISIONS        |        |        |        |        |        |
 OF THE STATE     |        |        |        |        |        |
 Barrington,      |    549 |    795 |  1,000 |  1,028 |  1,111 |  1,185
 Bristol,         |  3,490 |  4,616 |  5,271 |  4,649 |  5,302 |  5,829
 Warren,          |  2,437 |  3,103 |  2,636 |  2,792 |  3,008 |  4,005
 BRISTOL CO.,     |  6,476 |  8,514 |  8,907 |  8,469 |  9,421 | 11,019
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Coventry,        |  3,433 |  3,620 |  4,247 |  3,995 |  4,349 |  4,580
 East Greenwich,  |  1,509 |  2,358 |  2,882 |  2,400 |  2,660 |  3,120
 West Greenwich,  |  1,415 |  1,350 |  1,258 |  1,228 |  1,133 |  1,034
 Warwick,         |  6,726 |  7,740 |  8,916 |  7,696 | 10,453 | 11,614
 KENT CO.,        | 13,083 | 15,068 | 17,303 | 15,319 | 18,595 | 20,348
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Fall River,      |     -- |     -- |  3,337 |     -- |     -- |     --
 Jamestown,       |    365 |    358 |    400 |    349 |    378 |    488
 Little Compton,  |  1,327 |  1,462 |  1,304 |  1,197 |  1,166 |  1,156
 Middletown,      |    891 |    830 |  1,012 |  1,019 |    971 |  1,074
 New Shoreham,    |  1,069 |  1,262 |  1,320 |  1,308 |  1,113 |  1,147
 Portsmouth,      |  1,706 |  1,833 |  2,048 |  2,153 |  2,003 |  1,893
 Tiverton,        |  3,183 |  4,699 |  1,927 |  1,973 |  1,898 |  2,101
 TOWNS,           |  8,541 | 10,444 | 11,388 |  7,999 |  7,529 |  7,859
   NEWPORT CO.,   |        |        |        |        |        |
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 NEWPORT CITY,    |  8,333 |  9,563 | 10,508 | 12,688 | 12,521 | 14,028
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Burrillville,    |  1,982 |  3,538 |  4,140 |  4,861 |  4,674 |  5,249
 Cranston,        |  2,901 |  4,311 |  7,500 |  9,177 |  4,822 |  5,688
 Cumberland,      |  5,225 |  6,661 |  8,339 |  8,216 |  3,882 |  5,673
 East Providence, |     -- |     -- |     -- |  2,172 |  2,668 |  4,336
 Foster,          |  2,181 |  1,932 |  1,935 |  1,873 |  1,630 |  1,543
 Glocester,       |  2,304 |  2,872 |  2,427 |  2,286 |  2,385 |  2,098
 Johnston,        |  2,477 |  2,937 |  3,440 |  3,436 |  4,192 |  4,999
 Lincoln,         |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |  7,889 | 11,565
 North Providence,|  4,207 |  7,680 | 11,818 | 14,553 | 20,495 |  1,303
 North Smithfield,|     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- |  3,052 |  2,797
 Pawtucket,       |     -- |     -- |     -- |  5,000 |  6,619 | 18,464
 Scituate,        |  4,090 |  4,582 |  4,251 |  3,538 |  3,846 |  4,101
 Smithfield,      |  9,534 | 11,500 | 13,283 | 12,315 |  2,605 |  2,857
 Woonsocket,      |     -- |     -- |     -- |     -- | 11,527 | 13,576
 TOWNS, PROV. CO.,| 34,901 | 46,013 | 57,133 | 67,427 | 80,286 | 84,249
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 PROVIDENCE CITY, | 23,172 | 41,513 | 50,666 | 54,595 | 68,904 |100,675
                  |        |        |        |        |        |
 Charlestown,     |    923 |    994 |    981 |  1,134 |  1,119 |  1,054
 Exeter,          |  1,776 |  1,634 |  1,741 |  1,498 |  1,462 |  1,355
 Hopkinton,       |  1,726 |  2,477 |  2,738 |  2,512 |  2,682 |  2,760
 North Kingstown, |  2,909 |  2,971 |  3,104 |  3,166 |  3,568 |  3,505
 South Kingstown, |  3,717 |  3,807 |  4,717 |  4,513 |  4,493 |  4,240
 Richmond,        |  1,361 |  1,784 |  1,964 |  1,830 |  2,064 |  1,739
 Westerly,        |  1,912 |  2,763 |  3,470 |  3,815 |  4,709 |  5,408
 WASHINGTON CO.,  | 14,324 | 16,430 | 18,715 | 18,468 | 20,097 | 20,061
 WHOLE STATE,     |108,830 |147,545 |174,620 |184,965 |217,353 |258,239

                            State Valuation.

Valuation of the several towns and cities in the State as returned by
the town and city clerks to the Secretary of State, October, 1875.

                  |              |             |             | Rate of
                  |              |  Personal   |             | Tax on
   TOWN OR CITY.  | Real Estate. |   Estate.   |   Total.    |  each
                  |              |             |             | $100.[K]
 Barrington,      |     $985,505 |    $509,300 |  $1,494,805 |   $0.55
 Bristol,         |    3,210,700 |   1,900,400 |   5,111,100 |     .78
 Warren,          |    2,052,950 |   2,115,150 |   4,168,100 |     .64
 BRISTOL COUNTY,  |   $6,249,155 |  $4,524,850 |  10,774,005 |
                  |              |             |             |
 Coventry,        |   $2,616,300 |  $1,437,100 |  $4,053,400 |     .40
 East Greenwich,  |    1,465,402 |     372,550 |   1,837,952 |     .50
 West Greenwich,  |      362,030 |     143,140 |     505,170 |     .90
 Warwick,         |    7,577,500 |   2,840,900 |  10,418,400 |     .50
 KENT COUNTY,     |  $12,021,232 |  $4,793,690 | $16,814,922 |
                  |              |             |             |
 Jamestown,       |     $785,300 |    $273,400 |  $1,058,700 |     .50
 Little Compton,  |      830,950 |     435,600 |   1,266,550 |     .50
 Middletown,      |    1,596,000 |     398,200 |   1,994,200 |     .60
 Newport,         |   20,831,000 |   8,040,200 |  28,871,200 |     .77
 New Shoreham,    |      287,384 |      45,304 |     332,688 |    2.25
 Portsmouth,      |    1,556,400 |     674,500 |   2,230,900 |     .58
 Tiverton,        |    1,262,913 |     484,285 |   1,747,198 |     .60
 NEWPORT COUNTY,  |  $27,149,947 | $10,351,489 | $37,501,436 |
                  |              |             |             |
 Burrillville,    |   $1,853,600 |    $896,800 |  $2,750,400 |     .74
 Cranston,        |    5,864,550 |     934,200 |   6,798,750 |     .50
 Cumberland,      |    3,671,250 |   2,084,050 |   5,755,300 |     .65
 East Providence, |    4,565,700 |     817,800 |   5,383,500 |     .70
 Foster,          |      535,300 |     148,900 |     684,200 |     .94
 Glocester,       |      824,555 |     450,550 |   1,275,105 |     .80
 Johnston,        |    3,686,600 |     784,900 |   3,871,500 |     .80
 Lincoln,         |    5,474,350 |   1,732,800 |   7,207,150 |     .80
 North Providence,|      803,705 |     199,500 |   1,003,205 |     .80
 North Smithfield,|    1,270,550 |     966,400 |   2,236,950 |     .70
 Pawtucket,       |   12,648,774 |   3,603,656 |  16,252,430 |    1.25
 Providence,      |   82,862,900 |  39,091,800 | 121,954,700 |    1.45
 Scituate,        |    1,571,300 |     776,600 |   2,347,900 |     .85
 Smithfield,      |    1,366,600 |     728,900 |   2,095,500 |     .85
 Woonsocket,      |    6,979,900 |   2,533,370 |   9,513,270 |    1.20
 PROVIDENCE CO.,  | $133,379,634 | $55,750,226 |$189,129,860 |
                  |              |             |             |
 Charlestown,     |     $612,800 |     $88,450 |    $701,250 |     .70
 Exeter,          |      546,860 |     123,580 |     670,440 |     .50
 Hopkinton,       |    1,326,850 |     438,450 |   1,765,300 |     .65
 North Kingstown, |    1,869,905 |     969,630 |   2,839,535 |     .52
 South Kingstown, |    3,002,490 |   1,458,610 |   4,461,100 |     .60
 Richmond,        |    1,006,800 |     257,400 |   1,264,200 |     .65
 Westerly,        |    3,113,800 |   1,379,175 |   4,492,975 |     .60
 WASHINGTON CO.,  |  $11,479,505 |  $4,715,295 | $16,194,800 |
                  |              |             |             |
 WHOLE STATE,     | $190,279,473 | $80,135,550 |$270,415,023 |

  [K] Including highway tax.

                           The Corliss Engine


This engine was furnished by George H. Corliss, of Providence, Rhode
Island, and was especially designed for supplying motive power at
the International Exposition of 1876. This engine is of fourteen
hundred horse-power, but is capable of doing the work of twenty-five
hundred horses if necessary. With its appurtenances it weighs over
seven hundred tons, and furnishes power to all the machinery in the
building. Miles of shafting lead away from it along the aisles from
end to end. Of these are eight main lines of shafting, four on each
side of the central transept where the engine stands, extending
lengthwise. Seven have a speed of one hundred and twenty revolutions,
and one a speed of two hundred and forty revolutions a minute. A line
of shafting is also provided for carrying power into the pump _annex_,
and counter shafts are introduced into the aisles at different points.
The power is transmitted by the _spur-gear_ fly-wheel, thirty feet
in diameter, weighing fifty-six tons; the jack-wheel ten feet in
diameter on the main shafting, which being run under the floors to the
pulleys, the power is transmitted thence to the eight main lines of
shafting above the floor, aggregating more than a mile in length, from
which the machinery of the Exposition derives its power. The engine
makes thirty-six revolutions per minute, and for driving them there
are twenty Corliss boilers capable of developing fourteen hundred
horse-power, and of standing a pressure of one hundred pounds to the
square inch. The platform on which the engine stands is breast high.
From this, on either side, a long iron staircase mounts to the top of
the A frames, where narrow walks with brass railings lead about among
the moving masses aloft in the air. It is five times a man's height
from the platform to the top of the walking-beam.

It is a tamed monster with unresistable power. To see a man walk calmly
around among the great beams and cranks is a sight to make one shiver.
He caresses a polished crank of steel that would crush him to bits if
he should stop in its path. He pats the ends of the beams as they fly
up and down past him, and touches the joints with his oiler. Aside from
the fact that the engine is one of the largest of its kind, it is so
unique in construction and form that it is all new to beholders. It is
a model of simplicity and picturesqueness.



  Adams, John, 98, 224.

  Adams, Samuel, 98.

  Aix-la-Chapelle, 170, 176.

  Albany Congress, 176.

  Almy, Christopher, 110.

  Almy, William, 272.

  Anabaptists, 140.

  Andros, Sir Edmond, 101, 102, 104, 105, 107, 108, 110.

  Angell, 231.

  Annapolis, 129.

  Annapolis Royal, 168.

  Anne, Queen, 135.

  Ann, Fort, 132.

  Antinomians, 140.

  Anti-Sabbatarians, 140.

  Aquidneck, 15, 17, 19, 38, 62, 70, 75, 84, 97, 129.

  Arminians, 140.

  Arnold, 225.

  Arnold, Governor, 80.

  Ashurst, Sir Henry, 122.

  Atherton, Humphrey, 46, 47, 49, 50, 84, 101, 106, 114.


  Bailey, Richard, 80.

  Baptists, 30, 105, 120, 159, 196.

  Barbadoes, 127.

  Barber, Henry, 248.

  Bartlett, J. R., 286.

  Beaver, The, 206.

  Beaver Tail Light, 173, 246.

  Bellemont, Lord, 118, 119, 122.

  Berkeley, George, 146, 147, 179, 203.

  Block Island, 55, 56, 112, 121, 125, 151, 156.

  Bloody Brook, 72.

  Borden, John, 70.

  Boston, 2, 3, 4, 7, 17, 22, 31, 69, 73, 77, 100, 101, 103, 107, 115,
     116, 119, 128, 138, 144, 149, 152, 154, 203, 211, 219, 228, 236.

  Boston Port Bill, 211, 215.

  Bowen, Ephraim, 208.

  Bowler, Metcalf, 192, 206.

  Bradford, (printer,) 129.

  Bradford, William, 220.

  Brenton, Jahleel, 117.

  Brenton's Point, 245, 246.

  Breton, Cape, 170.

  Bridge, Rev. Christopher, 121.

  Bridgham, Samuel W., 275.

  Brinley, Francis, 108.

  Bristol, 38, 168, 230.

  Bristol, County of, 11.

  Bristol, Town of, 70, 144, 224, 227, 235, 249.

  Brookfield, 71.

  Brown, John, 196, 274.

  Brown, Moses, 272.

  Brown, Smith, 272.

  Brown University, 147, 196.

  Bucklin, Joseph, 208.

  Bull, Henry, 110, 111.

  Bunker Hill, 221, 223.


  Callender, John, 173.

  Calvinists, 140.

  Cambridge, 98.

  Canada, 129, 130, 170.

  Canonchet, 75, 76.

  Canonicus, 11, 12, 20, 28.

  Careless, Thomas, 199.

  Carolina South, 135, 243.

  Carr, Sir Robert, 57, 59.

  Carteret, Lord, 146.

  Carthagena, 157.

  Cartwright, George, 57.

  Champlin farm, 266.

  Charles I., 47.

  Charles II., 39, 41, 47, 51, 95, 98, 277.

  Charlestown, 171.

  Charter House, 2.

  Chepachet, 281.

  Church, Benjamin, 70, 76.

  Church's Harbor, 188.

  Clarke, Jeremy, 25.

  Clarke, John, 18, 30, 31, 32, 34, 40, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 55, 56,
     57, 61, 63, 64, 65, 85, 124, 141, 277, 287.

  Clarke, Walter, 99, 104.

  Clawson, John, 92.

  Coddington, Nathaniel, 117.

  Coddington, William, 18, 25, 30, 31, 32, 37, 87.

  Coggeshall, John, 25, 94.

  Coke, Sir Edward, 2.

  Collins, Governor, 263.

  Conanicut, Island of, 11, 20.

  Congregationalists, 120, 175.

  Connecticut, 22, 30, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 57, 58, 61, 64, 65,
      66, 72, 77, 79, 80, 81, 84, 86, 96, 100, 104, 105, 106, 109, 114,
      122, 124, 130, 138, 152, 163, 171, 186, 242, 243, 261.

  Connecticut River, 71.

  Cook, Colonel, 230.

  Cooke, Esek, 225.

  Cooke, Nicholas, 198, 220, 225, 235, 254.

  Copley, 147.

  Cornberry, Lord, 125.

  Coweset, 79, 81.

  Coweset Bay, 93, 229.

  Cranston, 197.

  Cranston, John, 156, 166.

  Cranston, Samuel, 117, 118, 119, 122, 124, 135, 141.

  Cranfield, 96, 97.

  Crary, Colonel, 244.

  Cromwell, 39.

  Cromwell, Richard, 39.

  Culpepper, Lord, 106.

  Cumberland, 168.

  Cygnet, The, 191.


  Davenport, Captain, 73.

  Dedford, 101.

  Deerfield, 71.

  Delaware, 11, 261.

  D'Estaing, 236, 237, 238, 239.

  Dexter Asylum, 275.

  Dexter, Ebenezer Knight, 275.

  Dickinson, John, 199.

  Dorr Rebellion, 279, 282.

  Dorr, Thomas Wilson, 280, 281.

  Douglass, David, 180.

  Downer, Silas, 199.

  Duddingston, Lieutenant, 206, 208.

  Dudley, 100, 108, 122, 124, 125.

  Dudley, Charles, 226.

  Durfee, Colonel Joseph, 236.

  Dutch Island, 158.

  Dyer, William, 25.


  Eastern, John, 111.

  Edwards, Mr., 50.

  Edwards, Rev. Morgan, 196.

  Eliot, John, 58, 59, 69.

  Ellery, William, 166, 253.

  Endicott, John, 55.

  England, 7, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 37, 39, 47, 64, 82, 83, 88, 92,
     95, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109, 110, 119, 127, 128, 131, 138, 141,
     143, 149, 153, 156, 157.

  England, Church of, 2, 3, 103, 153.

  Episcopalians, 120, 140, 175.

  Exeter, 163, 196.

  Exposition, Centenary, 286.


  Fall River, 236.

  Familists, 140.

  Famme Goose Bay, 165.

  Farmer's Letters, 197, 199.

  Fellowship Club, 176.

  Fitch, Governor, 192.

  Flagg, Major Ebenezer, 251.

  Fones, Captain, 165.

  Fothergill, Samuel, 159.

  France, 64, 86, 110, 159.

  Franklin, Benjamin, 176, 190, 213, 214, 261.

  Franklin, James, 144, 147.

  Freemasonry, 181.

  Freetown, 121.

  French Residents, 178.

  Frenchtown, 107, 111.


  Gage, General, 215.

  Galloway, Mr., 130.

  Gardiner's Island, 250.

  Gaspee, 194, 206, 207, 211, 212, 221.

  George I., 135, 142.

  George II., 143, 142.

  George, Fort, 156, 159, 216, 223.

  Goat Island, 123.

  Goddard, William, 180, 214, 222.

  Godfrey, John, 112.

  Goffe, 72.

  Gorton, Samuel, 18, 19, 20, 22, 29, 85.

  Goulding, Roger, 110.

  Greene, Christopher, 218, 226, 231, 234, 250.

  Greene, Governor, 248.

  Greene, James, 162.

  Greene, John, 61, 82, 94, 97, 100, 103, 106, 111, 114, 115, 119, 121.

  Greene, Nathanael, 218, 219, 220, 236, 239, 250.

  Greene, William, 158, 235.

  Greenwich, 233.

  Greenwich, East, 79, 82, 88, 101, 151, 163, 174, 192, 212, 215, 218,
     244, 245, 256, 258, 282.

  Greenwich, West, 132, 163, 174, 226.

  Gregorian Calendar, 175.


  Hadley, 71.

  Hall, Benoni, 206.

  Hamilton, 261.

  Hancock, John, 236.

  Hannah, The Sloop, 207.

  Harris, Thomas, 37.

  Harris, William, 33, 82, 85, 86.

  Hartford, 35, 76, 79, 105.

  Hartford Convention, 276.

  Harvard College, 121.

  Hatfield, 72.

  Haversham, 101.

  Hays, 246.

  Hazard's, Isaac P., farm, 267.

  Hazard's, Robert, farm, 266.

  Helme, James, 206.

  Henry, Patrick, 191.

  Herendeen, 92.

  Hill, David, 205, 206.

  Hill, Lieutenant, 193.

  Hillsborough, Lord, 201.

  Hog Island, 38.

  Holden, Randall, 25, 82, 97.

  Holland, 32, 64, 95, 149.

  Holmes, Obadiah, 30.

  Honeyman's Hill, 121.

  Honeyman, James, 121.

  Hooker, Dr., 105.

  Hope Bay, Mount, 70.

  Hope Island, 226, 254.

  Hope, Mount, 11, 69, 70, 76.

  Hopkins, Captain William, 157.

  Hopkins, Samuel, 204.

  Hopkins, Stephen, 106, 176, 178, 179, 180, 188, 198, 200, 206, 212,
     216, 224, 233, 273.

  Hopkinton, 182.

  Howard, Martin, Jr., 176.

  Howell, 253.

  Howland, John, 273.

  Hutchinson, Anna, 17.

  Hutchinson, Captain, 49.

  Hutchinson, Governor, 171, 205.

  Hutchinson Letters, 213.

  Huguenots, 107, 135.


  Jackson, Daniel, 259.

  James, Fort, 62.

  James II., 98, 100, 105, 106, 107.

  Jamestown, 88, 158.

  Jenckes, Joseph, 134, 142, 148, 152.

  Jews, 98, 256.

  Johnson, Captain, 73.

  Johnston, 182.

  Johnston, Augustus, 191.

  Judith, Point, 237.


  Katy, The, 222.

  Keeler, Captain, 212.

  Kent County, 58, 174.

  Kentish Guards, 218.

  Kidd, Captain, 119.

  King, Governor, 281.

  King's Province, 58, 59, 79, 80, 96, 101, 104, 106, 107, 122, 252.

  Kingston, 73, 88, 93, 101, 121, 139.

  Kingstown, North, 163.

  Kingstown, South, 151, 247, 258.


  Lafayette, 236, 239, 240, 248.

  Languedoc, The, 238.

  Lee, General, 226, 233.

  LeFavour, Heber, 284.

  Leister, 112.

  Lenthall, Robert, 54.

  Lexington, 219.

  Liberty, The Sloop, 202.

  Lincoln, President, 282.

  Lindsey, Captain, 207.

  Little Compton, 121, 127, 168.

  Lockman, Leonard, 164.

  London, 109.

  Long Island, 62.

  Long Island, Indians of, 35.

  Lopez, 246.

  Lopez, Moses, 175.

  Louisburg, 165, 166, 170.

  Lovelace, Governor, 62.

  Lutherans, 140.

  Lyndon, Josias, 198.

  Lynn, 30.

  Lyon, The Ship, 2.


  Madison, 261.

  Maidstone, 193.

  Maine, 61, 75.

  Malmedy, 233.

  Manhattan, 32.

  Marchant, 205, 254.

  Martha's Vineyard, 62.

  Martindale, Major, 124.

  Massachusetts Bay, Colony of, 3, 4, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20,
     21, 22, 29, 30, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 44, 45, 46, 50, 53, 55, 57, 58,
     61, 64, 66, 70, 72, 75, 84, 87, 96, 100, 102, 105, 107, 109, 114,
     118, 122, 125, 126, 133, 134, 144, 152, 161, 171, 179, 186, 212,
     254, 261.

  Massasoit, 5, 8, 11, 12, 66.

  Mather, Cotton, 140.

  Mather, Dr. Increase, 109.

  Maverick, Samuel, 57.

  Mayflower, 13.

  Miantonomi, 5, 11, 20, 22.

  Middletown, 163.

  Milton, John, 16.

  Mohegans, 21, 22, 47, 76.

  Montague, Admiral, 207.

  Mooshausick Hill, 65.

  Mooshausick River, 9, 10, 12, 13, 97, 183, 184.

  Moravian Mission, 174.


  Namcook, 46.

  Nantasket Roads, 2, 129.

  Nantucket, 62.

  Narragansett, 31, 45, 50, 58, 79, 80, 84, 89, 96, 106, 115, 124, 128,

  Narragansett Bay, 7, 15, 19, 23, 45, 46, 48, 58, 62, 70, 80, 81, 96,
     150, 227, 236, 241, 254.

  Narragansett River, 48, 51.

  Narragansetts, The, 11, 20, 21, 22, 28, 35, 46, 72, 73, 75.

  Neale, Thomas, 116.

  Newburyport, 236.

  New England, 23, 40, 45, 53, 58, 75, 77, 88, 95, 96, 98, 100, 105,
     107, 114, 118, 131, 133, 145, 154, 159.

  New Haven, 22.

  New Jersey, 11, 105.

  New London, 112.

  New Netherlands, 62.

  Newport, 18, 25, 27, 29, 36, 40, 41, 43, 44, 53, 61, 64, 65, 75, 88,
     90, 104, 108, 112, 121, 123, 124, 126, 129, 130, 133, 136, 140,
     142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 150, 154, 157, 159, 163, 172, 174, 179,
     189, 191, 195, 199, 203, 204, 207, 215, 218, 222, 223, 224, 225,
     226, 227, 235, 236, 237, 238, 243, 245, 247, 250, 253, 255, 259,
     264, 273, 275, 278.

  Newport Artillery, 164.

  Newport Marine Society, 176.

  Newport Mercury, 180, 248.

  New York, 11, 15, 57, 62, 105, 112, 115, 119, 125, 152, 157, 202, 249.

  Niantics, 76, 128.

  Nichols, Colonel Richard, 57.

  Niles, Samuel, 121.

  Ninigret, 35, 128, 137.

  Nipmucks, 71.

  Norris, Matthew, 155.


  Oleron, laws of, 25.

  Olney, Colonel, 231, 234.

  Olney's Tavern, 199.

  Olneys, The, 231.

  Olney, Thomas, 37.

  Otis, James, 89, 98.


  Paine, John, 62.

  Paine, Thomas, 112.

  Pappoosquash Point, 249.

  Paris, Peace of, 177.

  Partridge, Richard, 158, 181.

  Patience, Island of, 19.

  Pawcatuck, 112, 114, 132.

  Pawcatuck River, 49, 51, 101.

  Pawtucket, 132.

  Pawtuxet River, 162, 197.

  Pawtuxet, 12, 29, 38, 45, 76, 82, 83, 96.

  Pedobaptists, 140.

  Penn, William, 125.

  Pennsylvania, 261.

  Peoples' Constitution, 279.

  Pequots, 20, 21, 22, 55, 66, 76.

  Perry, Oliver H., 276.

  Pettaquamscott Pond, 105.

  Philadelphia, 226.

  Philip, King, 68, 69, 70, 71, 75, 76, 77.

  Philip's, King, War, 66, 89, 120.

  Phipps, Sir William, 114.

  Pigot, Sir Robert, 237, 238.

  Pitt, William, 177.

  Plainfield, 132.

  Plymouth, Colony of, 3, 4, 5, 9, 13, 14, 15, 22, 57, 61, 67, 69, 70,
     72, 76, 77, 84, 97, 114, 126, 236.

  Pocasset, 17, 19, 71.

  Port Royal, 129, 131, 166.

  Portsmouth, 24, 25, 27, 29, 41, 44, 63, 75, 88, 116, 124, 135, 136,
     144, 156, 158, 193.

  Portsmouth Grove, 285.

  Potter, Simeon, 218.

  Potter, Stephen, 206.

  Potowomut, 93, 101, 256.

  Potowomut River, 136.

  Presbyterians, 140.

  Prospect Hill, 223.

  Proud, John, 159.

  Providence, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 33,
     39, 41, 43, 44, 54, 64, 65, 75, 78, 82, 83, 88, 90, 94, 120, 130,
     135, 136, 148, 151, 153, 172, 174, 195, 199, 200, 201, 203, 207,
     209, 216, 218, 219, 220, 223, 224, 229, 230, 233, 249, 253, 258,
     262, 264, 271, 273, 275, 278, 279, 280.

  Providence Bank, 274.

  Providence Court House, 179.

  Providence Cove, 188.

  Providence Gazette and Country Journal, 180, 214.

  Providence Institution for Savings, 274.

  Providence Library Association, 171.

  Providence Plantations, 23, 24, 40, 232.

  Prudence Island, 62, 227.

  Puritans, 2, 3, 105, 120.


  Quakers, 39, 76, 103, 105, 120, 140, 148, 152, 158, 159, 181.

  Quebec, 226.

  Quidnesset, 46.

  Quincy, Josiah, 98.


  Randolph, 96, 97, 100, 104, 119.

  Ranters, 140.

  Ray, Simon, 55.

  Redwood, Abraham, 200.

  Redwood Library, 147, 171, 200, 250.

  Rehoboth, 248.

  Reid, Captain William, 202.

  Rhode Island, 7, 11, 17, 18, 19, 22, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 42,
     44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64,
     66, 70, 71, 73, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 84, 86, 87, 92, 95, 96,
     97, 98, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113,
     114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 120, 122, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 134,
     135, 138, 144, 152, 156, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 163, 166, 168,
     171, 177, 181, 201, 205, 206, 211, 212, 213, 227, 228, 231, 232,
     235, 242, 247, 248, 250, 255, 256, 259, 269, 270, 271, 273, 274,
     275, 276, 277, 279, 281, 282, 283, 285, 286, 287.

  Rhode Island Army of Observation, 221, 223.

  Rhode Island, Island of, 15.

  Riveiras, 246.

  Robinson, John, 3.

  Rochambeau, 249, 250.

  Rochester, 101.

  Rogers, James, 175.

  Roman Catholics, 140, 150, 256.

  Rome, George, 213, 224.

  Rose, Frigate, 221.

  Roxbury, 73.

  Ryswick, Treaty of, 117, 118, 123.


  Sabbatarians, 81, 120.

  Salem, 4, 5, 7, 8, 85, 236.

  Sandford, Peleg, 80, 117.

  Sanford, John, 25.

  Say and Seal, Lord, 47.

  Scituate, 178, 258.

  Scituate Furnace Company, 200.

  Scott, John, 49, 50.

  Seekonk, 16.

  Seekonk River, 8, 9.

  Senegal, 199.

  Separatists, 105.

  Sequasson, 22.

  Shawomut, 19, 20, 29.

  Sheffield, Captain Joseph, 157.

  Sherwood Joseph, 181, 205.

  Shoreham, New, 56, 88, 156.

  Simpson, Joseph, 216.

  Skelton, Mr., 4, 5.

  Slate Rock, 9.

  Slater, Samuel, 272.

  Smibert, 147.

  Socinians, 140.

  Spain, 86, 156, 159.

  Sparker, Henry, 199.

  Spencer, General, 236.

  Springfield, 72.

  Stamper's Hill, 39.

  Stanton Farm, 266.

  Stanwix, Fort, 188.

  Star Chamber, 2.

  Stiles, Ezra, 200, 203.

  Stirling, Earl of, 62.

  Stonington, 76.

  Sullivan, 236, 237, 239.

  Sutton Hospital, 2.

  Swanzey, 69.


  Talbot, Silas, 242.

  Tartar, Ship, 155, 162, 165.

  Taunton River, 70.

  Taylor, George, 153.

  Ternay, 249, 250.

  Tew, Henry, 134.

  Thayer, Simeon, 226, 231.

  Theatres in Rhode Island, 180.

  Thurston, 150.

  Tiverton, 71, 121, 168, 230, 236, 249.

  Tiverton Heights, 229.

  Trinity Church, 200, 250.

  Touros, 246.

  Turpin, William, 153.


  Uncas, 22.

  Underhill, Captain, 7.

  United Colonies, 22, 34, 35, 39, 46, 50.

  Utrecht, Treaty of, 131.


  Vane, Sir Henry, 17, 20, 34.

  Varnum, General, 233, 234, 254.

  Varnum, James M., 218.

  Venus, Transit of, 200.

  Verin, Joshua, 14.

  Virginia, 110, 116.


  Wallace, Sir James, 221, 223, 224, 227.

  Walpole, 189.

  Walpole, Sir Robert, 143.

  Wamponoags, 11, 12, 66.

  Wamsutta, 67.

  Wanasquatucket, 12.

  Wanton, Captain John, 126, 153, 158.

  Wanton, Captain William, 124, 152.

  Wanton, Governor, 220, 221, 224, 227.

  War of Independence, 202.

  Ward, Henry, 192.

  Ward, Major, 234.

  Ward, Richard, 158, 160, 178, 179, 188, 192, 195, 198, 216.

  Ward, Samuel, 226, 228, 231.

  Warren, 98, 168, 227, 236.

  Warren Association of Baptist Churches, 196.

  Warwick, Colony of, 15, 20, 24, 25, 27, 31, 34, 41, 43, 44, 58, 65,
     75, 76, 79, 82, 83, 88, 93, 94, 96, 101, 111, 132, 163, 174.

  Warwick, Earl of, 23.

  Warwick Neck, 229.

  Washington, 248, 261, 274.

  Washington, The, 222.

  Waumaion, 92.

  West, 147.

  West, General, 227, 230.

  West Indies, 128, 149, 153, 158, 271.

  Westerly, 88, 101, 121, 124, 138, 144, 151, 182, 215.

  Weybosset Bridge, 165, 188.

  What Cheer Square, 9.

  Whipple, Captain Abraham, 208, 222, 226.

  Whipple Hall, 200.

  Whipple, Joseph, 175.

  Whitefield, Governor, 159.

  Wickford, 74, 121.

  Willard, Captain, 36.

  William and Mary, 109, 110.

  Williams, Roger, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
     19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 42,
     45, 46, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 75, 82, 85, 86, 92, 141, 184, 256,
     277, 287.

  Winslow, 29.

  Winslow, Major, 67.

  Winthrop, John, 46, 47, 49, 51, 62, 124.

  Wolf, 77.

  Wonumytomoni Hill, 65.

  Worcester, 179.


  Yale College, 147.

  Yemassee War, 135.

  York, Duke of, 62.

                       WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

                          HISTORICAL STUDIES.

                         One vol., 12mo., 1850.

                         BIOGRAPHICAL STUDIES.

                         One vol., 12mo., 1860.

                           NATHANAEL GREENE.

                UNITED STATES."

                            Eight vo., 1866.

                     THE LIFE OF NATHANAEL GREENE,


                        Three vols., 8vo., 1871.

                     THE GERMAN ELEMENT IN THE WAR
                       OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.

                         One vol., 12mo., 1876.

Transcriber's Note

The paragraphs of the Dedication were printed in mixed case using
small capitals. In the interest of readability, this portion of the
text is simply left as mixed case.

There are several errors in the chronology given in the Analytical
table. The entry for Chapter XVII is missing the year of the death
of Governor Cranston (1727) which is mentioned on p. 141. This has
been added. The page number for the last entry for Chapter XXXIX
was printed as 228, but should have been 282. This has been corrected
as well.

Minor inconsistencies of punctuation in the Analytical Table and the
Index have been corrected silently. In the Index, the entry for
Roger Williams includes an out-of-sequence reference to p. 39, which
should have been p. 29.

Some words appear both with and without hyphens. Where the hyphen is
used at a line break, the most common usage is followed.

The word 'seized' was misprinted twice (pp. 30, 79) as 'siezed'.
It appears correctly more than a dozen times. These have been

On p. 112, an opening quotation mark in the final paragraph is never
closed. A page later, an unbalanced closing quotation mark appears, but
it is very unlikely that they correspond, since they span multiple
topics. Both have been removed. See the entries for pp. 112-113 in the
table below.

The Author's Note, which refers to p. 196, is a clarification of remarks
on the foundation and re-naming of Brown University. The paragraph
begins with the phrase "The foundation of a university".

On the final page, the description of "NATHANAEL GREENE",
includes a misprinted reference. The original referred to:

  Mr. Bancrofts "History of the United" States.

This has been corrected:

  Mr. Bancroft's "History of the United States."

The following table contains other typographical issues, most likely
printer's errors, and their resolution. Idiosyncratic spellings,
where no other correct instances are to be found, are allowed to
stand. Non-standard spelling which appear in quoted material are also
given here as printed, unless an error can be confirmed by comparison
with original sources.

p. viii  Mass[as]oit                                Added.

         success[s]ful                              Removed.

p. xiii  bes[ei/ie]ged                              Transposed.

p. xvii  [1727] Death of Governor Cranston          Added.

p.   43  Deputy-Govern[e/o]r                        Corrected.

p.   61  struck a familiar cord                     _sic._

p.   74  victors and vanquishe[r/d] were driven     Corrected.

p.   81  con[s]cientious                            Added.

p.   95  parapheranalia                             _sic._

p.  102  his a[r]bitrary will                       Added.

p.  112  The war pressed so ["]heavily on the       Removed.

p.  113  says a cotemporary letter.["]              Removed.

p.  117  admiral[i]ty                               Removed.

p.  167  the conquest of New Eng[l]and              Added.

p.  176  to har[r]ass the enemy's commerce          Removed.

p.  233  the rank of Brigadier[.]"                  Added.

p.  254  the begin[n]ing of the war                 Added.

p.  259  degredation                                _sic._

p.  263  enthusia[s]m                               Added.

p.  268  (Various companies in Pawtucket.[)]        Added.

p.  292  enlarge the [the] territories              Removed.

p.  293  suc[c]essors                               Added.

p.  295  ensu[s]ing                                 Removed.

         in any [of] their assemblies               Added.

p.  329  mi[s]demeanor                              Added.

p.  356  27, [3/2]9, 31                             Corrected.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A short history of Rhode Island" ***

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