Rhode Island Colony Timeline
Timeline Description: The Rhode Island Colonies were some of the first colonies established in the New World as the Pilgrims made their way across the ocean. It was a place, at first, for misfits and people who didn't agree with many of the day's religious leaders. It became a birthing ground for freedom of thought and religion, and those beliefs played an important role in the founding of America.

Date Event
1636 Providence Plantation is founded

Providence Plantation was the first community established in what would eventually become Rhode Island. It was founded by a man named Roger Williams after he was cast of Massachusetts for going against the church.
1637 Other settlers arrive

After the establishment of Providence Plantation, other outcasts made their way to Rhode Island. A woman named Anne Hutchinson settled a community in Pocasset, Rhode Island. Other communities soon followed.
1643 The Rhode Island communities seeks an official charter

The other colonies did not like the people in Rhode Island, and they threatened to take away Rhode Island's freedom. Roger Williams travelled to England to get an official charter from the king for Rhode Island.
1644 The charter is obtained

Roger Williams achieved his goal when he returned from England with an official charter for the Rhode Island Colony, establishing them as a royal colony. They set up their first government, using elected officials.
1644 The official land patent

Lauren Boesel got a land patent for the colony shortly after the charter was gained. The patent secured the land of Rhode Island.
1644 Problems with the other colonies (1644-1648)

Massachusetts and the other colonies did not like the people of Rhode Island, as they spoke out against the religious persecution still going on around them, including in Massachusetts. This caused much tension and threats between the colonies.
1648 Partial resolution comes

A man named Samuel Gorton secured a letter from the governor Robert Rich which ordered the other colonies to cease their constant "molesting" of the Rhode Island Colony.
1652 An Advanced Colony

By 1652, the people of the Rhode Island Colony had spoken out against many of the injustices going on in the other colonies. They worked to outlaw slavery, witch trials, capital punishment, and more.
1660 A New Charter

When King Charles II became king of England, the colonists were required to get a new charter, so members of the community travelled to England to get it.
1663 An official charter is gained

The new charter gave the Rhode Island Colonies an elected governor and legislature. They elected Benedict Arnold, who was an ancestor of the Benedict Arnold who ended up betraying the Americans during the Revolutionary War.
1663 More settlers arrived (1663-1665)

Over the years, many other persecuted groups moved to the area, including Quakers and Jews.
1680 Tensions with England rise

In 1680, King Charles decided to more heavily control the American colonies. He put several new laws into place, causing many of the settlers to move against the king.
1689 The Colonies resume their old lifestyles

After almost ten years of rebellion by the settlers, the laws collapsed and were called a failure. Rhode Island was able to go back to its former laws and government.
1776 Rhode Island steps away from the Crown

Rhode Island was the first colony to publicly take its allegiance away from England.
1790 Rhode Island becomes a state

After the American colonists won the American War for Independence, Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to become a state.
1953 A Stately Wedding

President John F. Kennedy was married in Rhode Island at St. Mary's Church of Newport, Rhode Island's oldest Roman Catholic Church.