InAdriaen Block explored the lands along the Connecticut River.
He sailed into Narragansett Bay inexploring its coasts and islands and finding large Narragansett and Wampanoag settlements. The Dutch navigator Adriaen Block explored Block Island and the coastal areas of the mainland inand Dutch fur traders were active in the region.
In the next few years, epidemics decimated the Native American people throughout New England; the Wampanoag suffered heavy losses.
In William Blackstone, an Anglican clergyman, left Boston to seek solitude and settled at the site of Valley Falls, in an area that was then part of the Massachusetts Bay colony.
A year later, a Puritan minister, Roger Williams, became the first European to establish an independent, permanent settlement in the Rhode Island region.
Williams had lived in the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies, but came into conflict with the Puritan authorities there. An outspoken advocate of religious freedom, he challenged some of the civil and religious restrictions in the colonies.
In January he was forced to flee Massachusetts to avoid deportation to England. He found refuge among the Wampanoag, whose chief, Massasoit, was his friend. Massasoit gave him a tract of land east of the Seekonk River, and Williams, together with friends from Salem, settled at the site of the present-day Rumford, in East Providence.
However, the authorities of the Plymouth Colony had jurisdiction over the area and forced the dissenters to move across the river to land controlled by the Narragansett. Williams was highly respected by the Native Americans. Unlike many colonists, he viewed them as fellow human beings, not as savages.
He learned their language and dealt fairly and honestly with them, insisting that settlers must compensate the native people rather than seize their lands.
His visit was part of his voyage of exploration of the New England coast. Block Island is an island off southern Rhode Island at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound. but made up for it in its access to land available for settlement. Rhode Island was part of the tremendous growth of New England. Between and , the American. The other tribes lived on many islands of Rhode Island. Exploration The first people to explore Rhode Island were Native Americans, and they reached Rhode Island at least 12, years ago. The first settlement of the Plymouth Colony was at New Plymouth, there had been nearly a century of exploration, fishing, and settlement by Europeans. long after the dissolution of Plymouth Colony itself. Rhode Island had received a patent for the area in , which had been disputed by Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In turn, the native groups not only accepted the colonists but encouraged settlement. The Wampanoag and Narragansett were traditional rivals, and each tribe viewed the settlers as potential allies against the other. The settlers also created a buffer against the more aggressive colonies in Massachusetts.
When war broke out in between the Pequot and colonists in Connecticut, the Narragansett aided the settlers, and the Pequot were nearly annihilated. Like Williams, the group had been banished from Massachusetts because of political and religious disputes with the Puritan establishment.
Williams helped the group obtain land from the Narragansett at the northern end of Aquidneck Island, where they founded Pocasset, later renamed Portsmouth. The next year the two island communities united in a federation and chose Coddington as governor. Aquidneck was renamed Rhode Island in A fourth independent settlement, Shawomet, was founded in by Samuel Gorton, a man of radical religious views.
Having quarreled with authorities at Boston and Plymouth, he came to the Rhode Island settlements, but also fell into disputes in Portsmouth, Newport, Providence, and the settlement adjoining Providence called Pawtuxet.
Gorton and a group of supporters then bought a tract of land south of Providence, the Shawomet Purchase, from Narragansett chiefs. But Pawtuxet settlers and local Narragansett disputed the sale and appealed to Massachusetts authorities.
In Massachusetts sent troops to seize Gorton and his followers, who were tried for blasphemy and other offenses. Narrowly escaping a death sentence, Gorton and several others were imprisoned for several months, then banished from Massachusetts.
Gorton went to England to appeal for protection for his settlement, and obtained a guarantee of protection from a parliamentary commission headed by the earl of Warwick.
The grateful Gorton returned in to the settlement, which he renamed Warwick.Rhode Island - European Exploration and Settlement - Early in the 16th century Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch adventurers and traders visited the Rhode Island region.
Block Island, near the mainland, was named for the Dutch captain Adriaen Block, who sailed along its coast in The actual founder of the colony was Roger Williams, . The first European known to have explored the Rhode Island area was the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano.
He sailed into Narragansett Bay in , exploring its coasts and islands and finding large Narragansett and Wampanoag settlements. When the revolution began in Massachusetts in April , Rhode Island immediately dispatched its militia in support, and it was the first colony to declare its independence from Great Britain in Rhode Island, island, 15 mi (24 km) long and 5 mi (8 km) wide, S R.I., at the entrance to Narragansett Bay.
It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches. It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches.
Rhode Island became a united colony in It declared independence from Britain on May 4, , the first colony to do so. RI was the last of the original 13 colonies to be admitted to the. The 17th century was an era of exploration, immigration and innovation.
For Jews, persecuted and restricted in many countries, America seemed like a good place to settle.
The town of Newport, Rhode Island, founded by Roger Williams, a believer in religious tolerance, soon attracted settlers of all.