August 1, important peace pact made between Capt. Benjamin Church and
Awashonks, squaw-sachem of Sakonnet Indians.
Philip's War begins.
December 19, Great Swamp Fight takes place in South
Benedict Arnold conveys Coaster's Harbor Island and Goat Island to
16, Warwick destroyed by Indians.
26, Capt. Michael Pierce's company routed in Pawtucket and
30, Indians burn many houses in Providence and vicinity.
massacre near Warwick of 171 Indians.
12, Capt. Benjamin Church's company captures and kills King Philip at
Mount Hope, Bristol, ending King Philip's War.
First wharf and warehouse built in Providence.
1681 April 1, custom house established at Newport, to
enforce Navigation Acts.
Roger Williams dies (some time between January 16 and March
June 3, Sir Edmund Andros commissioned governor of Dominion of New
England (induding Rhode Island).
December, Andros assumes government of Rhode Island,
setting aside Charter of 1663.
Courthouses ordered built in Newport and Rochester (or Kings
November, Governor Andros, stopping at Newport, demands
Rhode Island Charter; foiled by Governor Clarke, Andros destroys seal of
Colony and departs.
April, Andros deposed at Boston.
Rhode Island, learning of accession of William and Mary, resumes
government under Charter of 1663.
August 3, Sir Edmund Andros, who had fled to Rhode Island from
Boston, is captured at Newport, and returned to
Beginning of King William's War between England and France.
June, Massachusetts establishes first postal route between Boston and
Privateers authorized for King William's War.
Tiverton incorporated by Massachusetts.
First ferry connecting Jamestown with Newport is established.
May 6, General Assembly separated into two houses.
End of King William's War.
Beginning of Queen Anne's War between England and France.
May, commissioners representing Rhode Island and Connecticut agree on
boundary, but line is not settled until 1727.
22, Counties of Providence and Newport organized.
First Trinity Church building erected in Newport (present edifice built
Saint Paul's, or Old Narragansett Church, erected in North Kingstown
(moved in 1800 to present location in Wickford).
December, Rhode Island's first census shows population of
July, Colony authorizes its first issue of paper money or bills of
Latin school opened in Newport by Mr. Galloway.
quarantine act against smallpox.
End of Queen Anne's War.
General Assembly appropriates funds towards paving streets of Newport —
first instance of street paving within Colony.
First digest of the Colony laws printed.
February 26, South Kingstown incorporated as town.
first almshouse in Rhode Island erected at Newport.
19, execution of 26 pirates at Gravelly Point, Newport.
February 18, property qualification for suffrage established: freehold
of value of £100, or annual income of £2.
First Rhode Island printing press established at Newport by James
February 8, boundary line with Connecticut settled by royal
June 16, Washington County organized.
Colony population, 17,935.
May, Assembly passes Act for Relief of Poor Sailors — levies
sixpence a month from wages of all Rhode Island seamen.
1731 Old Colony House at Providence completed
(burned December 24, 1758).
February 20, Glocester, Scituate, Smithfield, incorporated
September 27, Colony's first newspaper, Rhode Island Gazette, issued at
Newport by James Franklin.
Lottery system makes first appearance, but is suppressed by severe
sloop 'Pelican,' first whaling vessel from Rhode Island, arrives at
Newport with cargo.
Redwood Library formed at Newport (chartered, 1747)
Courthouse, Newport, removed to Prison Lane, and made a
22, Charlestown incorporated as town.
Old Colony House at Newport built by Richard Munday (building still
stands next to modern Newport County Courthouse).
October, 'War of Jenkins' Ear' begins between England and
April 6, West Greenwich incorporated as town.
21, Coventry incorporated as town.
February 1, Newport Artillery incorporated.
March 8, Exeter incorporated as town.
16, Middletown taken from town of Newport, and incorporated.
Colony sloop 'Tartar' built.
Beginning of King George's War between England and
Royal Decree gives Rhode Island the towns of Warren, Bristol, Tiverton,
Little Compton, and Cumberland, which had been claimed by
Bristol, Cumberland, Little Compton, Tiverton, and Warren' incorporated
February 17, Bristol County organized.
18, Richmond incorporated as town.
End of King George's War.
June 11, Kent County organized.
September, Great Britain adopts 'New Style' or Gregorian
days omitted from current month, September 3 becoming September 14, and subsequent years to begin January 1 instead
March 25 as formerly.
February 25, Providence Library Association chartered.
Stephen Hopkins and Martin Howard, Jr., sent as commissioners to
intercolonial Congress at Albany, N.Y.
14, Cranston taken from Providence and incorporated as town.
Beginning of last French and Indian war.
March 19, Hopkinton incorporated as town.
James Franklin, Jr., founds Newport Mercury.
March 6, Johnston incorporated as town.
11, Masonic Society in Newport incorporated.
September 7, first Rhode Island dramatic performance held in
October 20, William Goddard sets up first printing press in Providence,
and publishes Providence Gazette and Country Journal.
Spermaceti trust formed.
last French and Indian War.
4, Rhode Island College incorporated.
commencement held in 1769. In 1804 the college became Brown
December 2, Touro Synagogue dedicated in
Governor Samuel Ward refuses oath to enforce Stamp Act.
British vessel 'Maidstone' impresses seamen in Newport Harbor; 500
sailors and boys seize one of her boats, drag it to the Commons, and
13, North Providence incorporated as town.
September, General Assembly adopts resolutions opposing Stamp
Act, and appoints Metcalf Bowler and Henry Ward cormrnssioners to Stamp
Act Congress at New York City.
1766 March 4, 'Daughters of Liberty' society organized by 18
young women, at Dr. Ephraim Bowen's house in Providence.
1769 July 19, Newporters destroy British revenue sloop
1770 June 16, Harrington separated from Warren and
incorporated as town.
1772 First equestrian performance (circus) in Rhode Island
occurs at Newport.
June 9, British revenue schooner 'Gaspee' burned while
aground in Warwick, by expedition from Providence.
1773 August, Revs. Samuel Hopkins and Ezra Stiles, of
Newport, invite subscriptions to colonize free Negroes on western coast
This was inception
of American Colonization Society of 19th century.
1774 Colony population, 58,221 (including 3768 Negroes).
June, Rhode Island prohibits further importation of
June 15, Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward elected delegates to
First Continental Congress at Philadelphia.
1775 April 19, Revolutionary War begins at Lexington and
April 20, more than one thousand Rhode Islanders, armed and
disciplined soldiers, mobilize overnight and march toward Boston.
April 22, General Assembly votes, over protest of, Gov.
Joseph Wanton, levy of 1500 troops for war.
June, a Rhode Island postal system is organized.
June 15, Capt. Abraham Whipple captures on shore of Conanicut
Island an armed tender belonging to British frigate 'Rose.'
October 7, Bristol bombarded by British expedition under
Capt. James Wallace.
November 5, Esek Hopkins appointed by Congress
Commander-in-Chief of Continental Navy.
1776 April 5, General Washington visits Providence.
May 4, RHODE ISLAND INDEPENDENCE DAY. General Assembly
formally renounces allegiance to Great Britain, (Rhode Island was 'the
first colony to declare, by solemn act, her absolute independence of the
July 18, General Assembly approves Congressional Declaration
of Independence, and votes that title of government shall be 'State of
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.'
December 8, British force under Sir Henry Clinton takes
possession of Newport.
1777 July 9, Colonel Barton captures British general Prescott
in Overing House at Portsmouth.
1778 February 9, Articles of Confederation adopted by Rhode
Island; signed by William Ellery, Henry Merchant, and John Collins, July
May 25, British pillage Bristol and Warren.
July 29, French fleet arrives off Newport.
August 29, battle of Rhode Island fought in Portsmouth.
1779 October 25, Newport evacuated by British.
1780 July 10, Count Rochambeau arrives at Newport with 6500
1781 March 6, public reception given to General Washington in
August 24, Foster incorporated as town.
1783 February, General Assembly repeals statute denying
franchise to Roman Catholics.
1784 February 23, an Emancipation Act provides for gradual
abolition of slavery.
June 1, Newport incorporated as city (charter repealed,
1786 Emission of bills of credit £100,000; legal tender at
par. (Repealed October 12, 1789.)
September, paper-money case, Trevett vs. Weeden, settled at
State's first jewelry business established by Seril and
Nehemiah Dodge, and Jabez Gorham, in Providence (1786-1800).
1787 First spinning jenny made in United States constructed
and put into operation by Daniel Jackson of Providence.
Population of State, 52,391.
March 27, City Charter of Newport repealed.
October 29, African slave trade forbidden in Rhode
1789 September, first Methodist service held by Jesse Lee in
1790 Calico printing from wooden blocks begun at East
Population of State (first Federal census), 68,825.
May 29, Rhode Island ratifies Federal Constitution.
December, a cotton factory put into operation at Pawtucket by
1791 Providence Bank opens.
1792 Elijah Ormsbee makes successful trip on Providence River
in his steamboat, the 'Experiment'
1793 Second Almy, Brown, and Slater cotton mill built in
Pawtucket (this mill still standing on bank of Blackstone River).
1794 May 8, Bristol sloop 'Nautilus' accused at Newport of
impressing American sailors.
1796 Samuel Slater of Pawtucket provides Sunday School
instruction for mill children.
1800 State-wide free school law enacted. Only carried into
effect by Providence; except for Providence it was repealed in 1803.
Population of State, 69,122.
1802 Kent Academy founded (now East Greenwich Academy).
1805 Line of packet ships established between Newport and
1806 Lighting by 'hydrogenous gas or inflammable air produced
from pit coal introduced by David Melville at Newport.
October 29, Burrillville incorporated as town.
1810 Broadcloth manufactured by Bellefonte Company at
1812 June, beginning of second war with Great Britain.
1813 British occupy Block Island.
September 10, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry of Rhode Island
defeats British in naval engagement on Lake Erie.
1814 'Heroes of the Lake' a drama celebrating Perry's
victory, played in Providence.
December, end of second war with Great Britain.
December, Rhode Island represented by four delegates at
1815 September 22-23, Great Gale devastates Providence.
1816 Rowland Hazard installs power-looms at Peace Dale woolen
1817 May, steamboat 'Firefly' from New York, makes first trip
between Providence and Newport, inaugurating steam navigation in
1819 Moses Brown School opens in
1821 Streets of Providence first publicly lighted.
1823 June, Blackstone Canal Company incorporated.
1824 August 23, Lafayette visits Providence.
1827 April, first public temperance meeting held in
1828 Permanent School Fund established.
Blackstone Canal (Providence to Worcester) is opened for
traffic (discontinued, 1844).
January, act passed establishing public schools throughout
April 14, first public Roman Catholic service held in
1831 Franklin Lyceum founded (lasted to 1906).
Providence incorporated as city.
September 21-24, race riots in Providence, between seamen and
December, New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics, and
Other Workmen founded at Providence (disbanded, 1834).
1833 Antislavery movement gets under way.
June 19, Andrew Jackson, President of United States, visits
1835 June 2, first train runs over railroad between Boston
1836 Henry Wheaton publishes first edition of 'Elements of
1837 November 10, railroad connecting Rhode Island with
Stonington, Connecticut, is opened.
1841 October-December, 'People's Constitution' framed and
1842 Permanent garrison established at Fort Adams.
February-March, 'Landholders' Constitution' framed and
April, Thomas Wilson Dorr elected governor on 'People's
June 28, Dorr forces routed at Acote-Hill in Chepachet.
November 5-23, present State Constitution framed and
1843 Survey of public schools undertaken by Heiry
1845 'Barnard School Law' passed — foundation of State's
modern public school system.
June, persons convicted of treason for participation in Dorr
War are freed.
1847 September 27, first passenger train travels over
1850 Population of State, 147,545.
Sockanosset School (reform) for boys founded.
1852 Capital punishment abolished in State.
Normal School opens in Providence (becomes a State
institution in 1854; is now Rhode Island College of
Prohibitory liquor law passed (repealed, 1863).
1853 Survey of Providence Harbor made by Lieut. William A.
May 20, Newport reincorporated as city.
1861 Controversy with Massachusetts over eastern boundary of
Rhode Island settled.
April 18, first Rhode Island troops leave for Civil War.
1862 March I, East Providence incorporated as town.
1863 Bryant and Stratton Business School founded (became
Bryant College in 1935).
1864 First train runs over railroad to Newport from
1865 End of Civil War.
1866 David Wallis Reeves becomes head of American Brass Band
1867 January 31, Woonsocket incorporated as town.
1868 Providence Board of Trade organized, named changed to
Providence Chamber of Commerce in 1913.
1869 United States Naval Torpedo Station established at Goat
1870 State Board of Education created.
abolishes imprisonment for debt.
1871 Betsey Williams dies, bequeathing Roger Williams Park to
City of Providence.
LaSalle Academy in Providence founded.
March 8, Lincoln and North Smithfield incorporated as
1872 Providence Opera House built (demolished, 1931).
1873 Steamboat ferries put into operation between Jamestown
1876 Corliss engine, designed by George H. Corliss of
Providence, set in motion at Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia,
President Grant being present.
1877 Rhode Island Institute for the Deaf founded.
Rhode Island School of Design founded.
1880 Tribal authority of Narragansett Indians ended.
December, Coaster's Harbor Island ceded to United States
Government by citizens of Newport, for purpose of establishing training
school for United States Navy.
1882 Electric carbon arc lights used for street lighting in
1883 Coaster's Harbor Island designated by Navy Department as
permanent naval training station.
Northern boundary line of Rhode Island settled.
1884 Lincoln School founded in Providence.
Naval War College founded at Newport.
1885 Prohibition amendment added to State Constitution
March 27, Pawtucket incorporated as city.
1887 Compulsory Education Act passed.
State Agricultural School opens at Kingston (becomes Rhode
Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892, and Rhode
Island State College in 1909).
Talma Dramatic Club founded.
April, western boundary of Rhode Island settled.
1888 First electric street railway in Rhode Island opened in
Woonsocket (first line in Providence in 1892).
June, Woonsocket incorporated as city.
1889 Mary C. Wheeler School founded in Providence.
Old Providence Cove filled in (1880-92).
1890 September 29-October 4, Cotton Centenary celebrated at
1892 Women's College in Brown University founded (renamed
Pembroke College in 1928).
October 21, Columbus Day first generally celebrated in
1893 St. Andrew's Industrial School founded at
1895 'Rhode Island Red' hen officially recognized as new
Verdandi Male Chorus founded.
February 21, Central Falls incorporated as city.
1896 St. George's School founded at Middletown.
1897 May 19, new State Flag adopted.
1898 Rhode Island Textile School founded.
1899 June 3, eastern boundary between Rhode Island and
Massachusetts finally established.
1900 Population of State, 428,556.
1901 January 1, General Assembly holds first session in new
State House at Providence.
March 28, Narragansett incorporated as town.
1902 Incandescent lamps introduced for house lighting.
Rhode Island College of Pharmacy and Allied Sciences founded
June, street railway strike; rioting in Pawtucket.
1903 Wireless telegraph introduced into State.
1907 Exeter School founded.
1009 Players Dramatic Club organized.
1910 March 10, Cranston incorporated as city.
State population, 542,610.
1911 University Glee Club founded in Providence.
1912 April 29, first Workmen's Compensation Act passed.
1913 March 13, West Warwick incoroorated as town.
1014 Car-tunnel constructed under College Hill in
Providence Lodge of the Sons of Italy organized.
1915 April 16, death of Nelson W. Aldrich, United States
Senator from Rhode Island (1881-1911).
April 23, Farm Bureaus of Rhode Island organized.
September 11, death of William Sprague II, Civil War Governor
1917 Providence College founded.
Pulitzer Prize awarded Maud Howe Elliott for biography of
Julia Ward Howe.
July 25, Rhode Island National Guard mustered into service of
United States for war with Germany.
September 5, State's first draft quota in World War leaves
for training camp.
1918 Explosion at Newport Naval Torpedo Station, resulting in
loss of 14 lives.
November 11, Armistice Day, marking end of World War.
1919 July 1, first registration day for women voters for a
State population, 604,397.
1920 January 16, National Prohibition Amendment becomes
effective; not ratified by Rhode Island.
November 2, women vote for first time in national
1922 Radio broadcasting begins over stations WEAN and
January-September, textile strike; 18,000 local workers
1923 Watchman Industrial School opened.
1924 Percy Marks publishes 'The Plastic Age.'
1925 April, Department of State Police created.
1928 Oliver Hazard Perry statue at State House is
Mount St. Charles Academy founded in Cumberland.
1929 Pulitzer Prize awarded Oliver La Farge for 'laughing
October 24, Mount Hope Toll Bridge between Bristol and
Portsmouth dedicated, and opened to traffic.
1930 Population of State, 687,497.
September 25, new Washington Bridge opened between Providence
and East Providence.
1931 April ai, Warwick incorporated as city.
May 4, General Nathanael Greene statue at State House is
September 27, State airport at Hillsgrove dedicated (later
closed for reconstruction, and opened again May 30,1936).
1932 Providence Symphony Orchestra (the fifth) founded.
March, Independent Textile Union founded at Woonsocket.
May, New State Pier No. 1 on Providence River is
completed (the old pier burned Feb. 25, 1931).
September 16, remains of Roger Williams placed in vault in
North Burial Ground.
1933 May 1, Rhode Island voters approve repeal of Prohibition
Amendment; a convention ratifies repeal May 8.
1934 May 18, horse racing and pari-mutuel betting
Narragansett Park opens August 1.
September, the National Guard called out for strike duty in
1935 January 1, General Assembly begins reorganization of
State Government. Offices of the Supreme Court declared vacant, and five
new judges elected.
May, State Department of Labor established.
July 31, Rhode Island inaugurates police teletype system in
29 police departments and law-enforcing agencies within State through
central sending and receiving station at State House.
November 1, earthquake shakes northern section of United
States and eastern Canada, jarring Rhode Island for 30 seconds, at 1:07
1936 State population, 680,712.
Rhode Island observes three-hundredth anniversary of its
founding and settlement.
March 10, proposal to call constitutional convention defeated
at special election.
June, case of City of Newport vs. Newport Water Corporation,
Superior Court renders decision that city has the right to acquire water