Rhode Island

By: Karis McElroy

Founder: Roger Williams

Roger Williams was born December 21, 1603 in London, England. He arrived to America on February 5, 1631 with his wife, Mary. Williams started preaching in Massachusetts, but left for religious freedom. He bought land from local Indians and named his settlement Providence in thanks to God. Roger Williams was governor of the colony from 1654 to 1658.


The main religion was Baptist, but there was religious freedom for all.

Religious Freedom for All!

Interesting Facts:

This colony was the first to guarantee all its citizens freedom of worship.

There were no presidents born in this colony/state.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States with 1,214 square miles. Its distance North to South is 48 miles and East to West is 37 miles.

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The People:

The Rhode Island Colony's total started with 300 in 1640. In 1780, the population was 52,946.

Most people in the colony were baptist religious people coming for freedom of religion.

Economy and Slaves:

Fishing, lumber, farming, trade, and shipbuliding is the main income for the colony.

In 1790, there were only 948 slaves in Rhode Island while other states like Virginia had 292,627. Slaves outnumbered white indentured servants in the colony almost 8 to 1.

The American Revolution and Constitution:

American Revolution: Rhode Island in 1774 called for a Continental Congress which would unite all the colonies in a stand for their rights and liberties.

American Constitution: Rhode Island became the 13th state to enter the Union after ratifying the Constitution on May 29, 1790.

Opportunity for All!


All men who owned property could vote. "Opportunity for all"

Pre-Rev - it was a Royal Colony.

Post Rev - it was part of the States.

Colony Conflicts

The Rhode Island Colony had many conflicts with the Plymouth Colony because of religious views.

The War of Jenkins’ Ear and King George’s War were personal and colonial interests were important to regional New England.

Primary Sources

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.