How was Rhode Island founded

Rhode Island - small but mighty - a state in Lilliput format

Rhode Island, Rhode Island? Isn't that the peninsula off New York? Nope, that's Long Island, which with its Hamptons is a magnet for the beautiful and the super-rich of this world. From Montauk, the northern tip of Long Island, you can see the coast of Rhode Island to the north. This "island", which in reality consists largely of the mainland, is the smallest state in the United States.

Table of Contents
Discovered by the Portuguese and colonized by the Dutch | Rhode Island was once a theater of war | Hotels, Apartments and Vacation Rentals | Musical continuity | The Narragansett Bay and Providence | Rhode Islands capital Providence | Rhode Island at a glance

The size is roughly comparable to the Saarland. In the south, the Atlantic bounds this - by US standards - Lilliput state; to the north and east it is Massachusetts and to the west Connecticut Rhode Island sets its limits. The small state with just over a million inhabitants is part of the Greater New England region.

If you are planning a tour to the Northeast of the USA, you should definitely not skip Rhode Island - for the sake of completeness. But of course there is also a lot to see there. The official name of the state is by the way "State of Rhode Islands and Providence Plantations", the capital is Providence. It is located not far from Boston, Massachusetts. Like all US states, Rhode Island has its nicknames, of course. While "Ocean State" is derived from the situation on the Atlantic, "Little Rhody" testifies to the caring affection of the Americans for the mini-member in their confederation.

Discovered by the Portuguese and colonized by the Dutch

So how does a mainland state, albeit a small one, get the part of the name “island”? In fact, there is an island in the Atlantic called "Rhode Island", which later became the name of the entire state. I took possession and baptized it by the Dutchman Roger Williams, who called it "Rhode Eylandt" because of the color of its earth. In the course of time it became today's name. However, others have discovered this piece of earth. As early as 1511, the Portuguese sailed past what is now Rhode Island under the adventurer and discoverer Miguel de Cortereal. However, they did not go ashore, but only registered the existence of the coastal region.

Roger Williams came to Rhode Island in 1636. From today's perspective, things could have been worse for the indigenous people. The Dutch Baptist founded his colony with the intention of being able to live democratically and peacefully with the Indians. This was frustrated not only by the Europeans who followed him very soon, but also by circumstances. The whites brought in diseases that the indigenous immune systems could not cope with. Those who did not die were largely killed by the intruders. Roger Williams was not up to this development. The little he could do was preserve the native language. In 1643 he published the book "A Key to the Languages ​​in America", in which the otherwise extinct Narragansett is recorded.


Rhode Island was once a theater of war

The bay in which the island of Rhode Island is located was named Narragansett Bay after the indigenous people. Williams' liberal attitude kept shining through despite all the opposition. In 1652 Rhode Island was one of the first states in which slavery was banned. Racial segregation was abolished in 1866. In between, Rhode Island was also a theater of war. The British claimed the area but lost interest and focused on the more promising future New York. They were followed by the French, under whose rule Rhode Island became the 13th member of the American Confederation in 1790.

Hotels, apartments and holiday homes

For hotels, apartments and vacation rentals in Rhode Island, visit

Musical continuity

Enough history, now let's move on to the present. 800 kilometers of coastline can be explored in Rhode Island, at least in theory. In practice, many of them are inaccessible because they are privately owned. You can get a good impression of both the coastal landscape and architecture in the New England region on a designated coastal footpath that begins on the outskirts of the city of Newport. The "Cliff Walk" is a good six kilometers long and offers not only breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, but also of the adjoining gardens of magnificent villas in the New England style. Not far from there is Fort Adams State Park. The renowned "Newport Jazz Festival" has been held here regularly since 1953. It was co-founded by Albert Grossman, who later became the manager of Bob Dylan. Famous musicians like Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and James Taylor found a stepping stone for their world careers here. Since 1958, the Newport Folk Festival has also attracted music lovers from all over the world to Little Rhody. You should also visit Newport: The "Marble House" 596 Bellevue Ave), where the wealthy entrepreneurial family of the Vanderbilts once lived. They had their tea house in the garden specially shipped from China to Rhode Island! “The Breakers” (44 Ocher Point Ave) was also part of the Vanderbilts real estate collection and is no less impressive.

The Narragansett Bay and Providence

If you visit Rhode Island, you shouldn't miss Narragansett Bay. In a flat state where the highest point, Jerimoth Hill, is just under 250 meters, the close proximity to the ocean is the scenic highlight. More than 30 small and tiny islands cavort in Narragansett Bay. The best place to stay is on the largest island, Aquidneck Island, which is home to the towns of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth. However, you will not have this paradise, in which water is omnipresent, all alone.

In 2012, Narragansett Bay was voted one of the top twelve adventure travel destinations in the world by National Geographic magazine and organization. This has something to do with the fascinating outdoor leisure activities that are available here. But the simple beauty of the landscape, the play of colors in the sunrises and sunsets and the almost untouched retreats for rare migratory birds and wild animals, rugged cliffs and nature trails have all contributed to this award.

Rhode Islands capital Providence

The capital city of Providence is also well worth a visit. Art and culture play such an important role here that the city is considered one of the most livable in the entire United States. After dark you should check out the permanent installation "WaterFire". Where the city's three rivers converge, a hundred braziers light up the water while live music is played at the same time. This is art with goosebumps factor!

During the day, we recommend a visit to the “Athenaeum” (251 Benefit Street), a magnificent library that also exhibits art. In the “Benefit Street Mile’s of History” (52, Power Street) you can walk in the footsteps of feminists from the 19th century.

Rhode Island at a glance

  • Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States
  • Newport is the capital of music and has hosted jazz and folk festivals on a regular basis since the 1950s
  • The "Cliff Walk" leads along the coast
  • Marble House and The Breakers in Newport once belonged to the wealthy Vanderbilt family
  • There are 30 islands in Narragansett Bay
  • Providence is full of culture
  • The WaterFire fire and water installation is a must in Providence