Rhode Island and the American Revolution

Newport emerged from King Philip's War unscathed and rapidly developed into the leading town. As Providence rebuilt, commercial rivalry between the two continued into the 18th century. The economy was mixed. Favorable soil conditions supported prosperous grazing lands and farms, some of the latter reaching plantation size and employing African and Native American slaves. (Rhode Island in 1774 became the first colony to outlaw the slave trade.) A number of harbors allowed shipping to become a vital part of the economy.

Rhode Island, with its active shipping industry, was adversely impacted by the British regulatory efforts following the French and Indian War. Like other New Englanders, the Rhode Islanders resorted to smuggling, which they conducted with much ingenuity. In 1772, the British customs ship Gaspee ran aground while chasing a smuggler in Narragansett Bay. The stranded ship was boarded and burned by the colonists, clearly one of the most provocative acts of the period.

Following the initial exchange of shots, Rhode Island moved quickly to sever its relationship with George III; this was done a full two months before the Declaration of Independence. Little fighting occurred on Rhode Island soil, but the British captured and held Newport from December 1776 until October 1779.

See timeline of the American Revolution .
See also
Indian Wars Time Table .

Off-site search results for ""Rhode Island" AND "American Revolution""...

Rhode Island History, USGenWeb Project
It became part of Rhode Island in 1663 under the Charter. In 1786 Rhode Island farmers burned their grain, dumped their milk, and left their apples to rot in the orchards in a farm strike directed against Providence and Newport merchants who ...

Library: Reference: Military
Some Rhode Island records, such as muster rolls and clothing lists, may also be found in our Manuscripts collection of Civil War Military Records, (MSS 673, subgroup 4). [back to top] Post-Civil War For official military records for post-Civil ...

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Senator John Hubbard Chafee
... 1953; served in Rhode Island house of representatives 1957-1963; Governor of Rhode Island 1963-1969; Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Richard Nixon 1969-1972; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in ...