RHODE ISLAND (ante). After establishing a settlement at Providence (so-called in grateful acknowledgment of "God's merciful providence to him in his distress"), Roger Williams went to England in 1643 and obtained a patent that remained in force until 1663, when a charter was obtained from Charles II. incorporating the colony of " Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," which was the only constitution of gov ernment for 180 years. The colony was engaged in the great Indian war of 1675; then in the uprising against sir Edmund Andros; after which, during the following ninety years, it enjoyed prosperity and grew into prominence for its commerce and naval importance. In the war of the revolution the citizens of the colony were prominent both on sea and land. though it was the last of the thirteen colonies that accepted the constitution of the United States, its, assent having been given on May 29, 1790. The soil of the state, though moderately fertile, is better adapted to grazing than to the cultivation of cereals, and the state has never had much importance in respect to its agricultural prod ucts. Nevertheless, in 1870, of the state's 075,000 acres of area, 502:48 acres were farms. and 289,030 acres were under cultivation. The productions were 784 bushels of wheat, 20.214 of rye, 311,957 of Indian corn. 157,010 of oats, 33.559 of barley, 1,441 of buck wheat, 9.920 of peas and beans, 669,408 of potatoes, 1,938 of grass seed, 796 lbs. of tobacco, 77.328 of wool, 041,199 of butter, 81.976 of cheese, 6,296 of honey. 765 gallons of wine, 1,944,044 of milk sold, and 89,045 tons of hay. The live stock on farms /included, 7,770 horses, 18,806 mulch cows, 5,821 working oxen, 9,748 other cattle, 23,938 sheep. and 14,607 swine. The crops of cereals are never large enough for the home con sumption. But in the amount of manufactured products the state ranks tenth in the union. In 1870 nearly one-fourth of the entire population was employed in manufac tories, and the annual product of the mills was about $580 to each inhabitant. There were 1850 establishments, employing 28,804 men, 14.752 women. and 5.861 children.. The capital invested was estimated at 4; 6 6 . 5 5 7 3 2 2 ; raw material used, $73,154.109; and
the annual product, $111,418,354. Providence has extensive manufactures of machinery, steam-engines, screws, nails, jewelry, silver and plated wares, cigars, furniture, wire goods. cotton and woolen goods, stoves, small wares, and chemicals, and is the leading market for print-cloths in the United States. Pawtucket has equally varied indus tries, and the whole region is thickly settled with manufacturing villages. The com merce of the state is chiefly domestic. Providence receives large quantities of coal and cotton for the neighboring states, as well as for the home snpply, and ships manufac tured goods. Much merchandise is also landed and shipped at this point for the Boston trade. customs districts are Providence, Newport, and Bristol and Warren. For the year 1875 the imports amounted to $314,700 and the exports to $39,820.
Among the important railroads passing through the state are the Boston and Provi tience, New York. Providence and Boston, Old Colony, Providence and Worcester, and Providence and Springfield. In 1876 the total number of miles of track within the state was 220. The national banks in the state in 1875 numbered 62, with an aggregate eatlital of $20,504,800 paid in; state hanks in operation, 15, with capital amounting to $5,091,697; and savings-banks. 38, with $51,311.330 on deposit. Of the insurance com panies. there were at the beginning of 1876, 6 joint-stock and 18 mutual fire-insurance companies. The first had a paid-up cash capital of $1,300,000; the others had cash assets to the amount of $1,226,207.
The assessed valuation of real estate in the state in 1870 was $132.876,581; of personal properly, $111,402,273. Tile total taxation not national during the same year was $2,170, 152, of whioth $489,253 was state and $1.680.899 town, city, etc. In 1879 the receipts of the treasury were $970,072 and the disbursements $703.211. The bonded debt of the state amounted to $2,534,500, or, with the deduction of an available to $1,83'2, 462. The total amount of the sinking fund was $733.764, which was invested princi pally in securities of the city of Providence and of the United States government.