RHODE ISLAND, popularly known as "Little Rhody," is a North Atlantic State of the American Union, belonging to the New England group, and lying between 41° 18' and 42° 3' N. and 75° 8' and 71° 53' W. It is bounded, north and east, by Massachusetts; south, by the Atlantic ocean; and west, by Con necticut, from which it is separated in part by the Pawcatuck river. Rhode Island is the smallest State in the Union, having an extreme length, north and south, of 48 m., an extreme width, east and west, of 37 m. and a total area of 1,248 sq.m., of which 181 sq.m. are water-surface.
In the north-west is Durfee Hill, which attains an elevation of 8o5 ft., and is the highest point within Rhode Island. The mean elevation for the entire State is 200 feet. The coast-line, in cluding the shores of the bays and islands, is extensive; its western portion is only slightly indented, but its eastern portion is deeply indented by Narragansett bay, a body of water varying in width from 3 to 12 m., and extending inland for about 28 miles. Within Narragansett bay there are the numerous islands characteristic of an area which has suffered comparatively recent depression, the largest being Rhode Island (or Aquidneck), Conanicut Island and Prudence Island. Of these the most im
portant is Rhode Island, 15 m. long and 3 m. wide, which has given the State its name. Lying about io m. off the coast and south of the central part of the State is Block Island.
Climate.—Rhode Island has a more moderate climate than that of the northern sections of New England. There are no great extremes of either heat or cold, and a number of the towns and cities, especially Newport and Narragansett Pier, have be come noted summer resorts. Narragansett Pier has a mean annual temperature of 49°, a mean summer temperature (for June, July and August) of 68°, and a mean winter temperature (for Decem ber, January and February) of 29°. The mean annual tempera ture at Providence is 49.8° ; the mean for the summer, ; and for the winter, 29.3°, while the highest and lowest tempera tures ever recorded are respectively Ioo° and The mean annual precipitation is about 5o in.