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In 1635, Sir Ferdinando Gorges obtained a grant from the council of Plymouth, of the tract of country between the rivers Piscataqua and Sagadahok, which is the mouth of Kennebek; and up Kennebek, so far as to form a square of 120 miles. It is supposed that Sir Ferdinand first instituted government in this province.

In 1639, Gorges obtained from the crown a charter of the soil and jurisdiction, containing as ample powers perhaps as the King of England ever granted to any subject.

In the same year he appointed a governor and council, and they administered justice to the settlers until about the year 1647, when, hearing of the death of Gorges, they fuppofed their authority ceased, and the people on the spot universally combined and agreed to be under civil government, and to elect their officers annually.

Government was administered in this form until 1652, when the inhabitants submitted to the Massachufeers, who, by a new conitruction of their charter, which was given to Roffwell and others, in 1628, claimed the soil and jurisdiction of the Province of Main, as far as the middle of CascoBay. Main then first took the name of Yorkshire; and county-courts were held in the manner they were in Massachusetts, and the towns had liberty to fend their deputies to the general.court at Boston.

In 1664, Charles Il. granted to his brother the Duke of York, all that part of New-England which lies between St. Croix and Pemaquid rivers, on the sea-coatt; and up Pemaquid river, and froin the head thereof toKennebek river, and thence the shortelt course north to St. Lawrence river. This was called the Duke of_York's property, and annexed to the government of New York. The Duke of York, on the death of his brother Charles II. became James II. and upon James's abdication, these lands reverted to the crown.

At present, the territory of the Sagadahok is supposed to contain all lands lying between the river St. Croix east, and Kennebek west, and from the Atlantic to the highlands, in the northern boundary of the UnitedStates.

Upon the restoration of Charles II. the heirs of Gorges complained to the crown of the Massachusetts usurpation; and in 1665, the King's commiffioners, who visited New-England, came to the province of Main, and appointed magiftrates and other officers, independent of Matlachufetts-Bay. The magiftrates, thus appointed, administered government according to such instructions as the King's commissioners had given them, until about the year 1668, when the Maisachusetts general court fent down commisfioners and interrupeed such as acted by the authority derived from the King's commissioners. At this time public affairs were in confusion ; fome declaring for Gorges and the magistrates appointed by the King's commissioners, and others for Massachusetts. The latter, however, prevailed, and courts of pleas and criminal jurisdiction were held as in other parts of the Mafsachusett's-Bay.

About the year 1674, the heirs of Gorges complained again to the King and counsel of the usurpation of Maltachufetts-Bay, and they were called upon to answer for their conduct. The result was, they ceafed for a time to exercise their jurisdiction, and Gorges, grandson of Ferdinando, fent over instructions. But in 1677, the Maflachusetts, by their


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agent, John Usher, Esq; afterwards governor of New Hampshire, purchased the right and interest of the patent for 1,200 l. fierling. The Massachusetts now supposed they had both the jurisdiction and the soil, and accordingly governed in the manner the charter of Main had directed, until 1684, when the Massachusetts charter was vacated.

In 1691, by charter from William and Mary, the Province of Main and the large territory eastward, extending to Nova-Scotia, was incorpo. rated with the Massachusetts-Bay; since which it has been governed, and courts held as in other parts of the Massachusetts.

This country, from its first settlement, has been greatly harassed by the Indians.

In 1675, all the settlements were in a manner broken up and destroyed.

From about 1692 until about 1702, was one continued scene of killing, burning, and destroying. The inhabitants suffered much for several years preceding and following the year 1724. And so late as 1744 and 1748, persons were killed and captivated by the Indians in many of the towns next the sea,

Since this period, the inhabitants have lived in peace, and have increased to upwards of 50,000 fouls. This number is daily and rapidly increasing. To facilitate intercourse between the inhabitants, the legislature have lately adopted measures for opening roads in different parts of the country. Such is their growing importance, and their ardent desire for indepen. dence, that their political separation from Massachusetts may be supposed not far distant.

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Boundaries. B

OUNDED north and east by the Conmonwealth of necticut. These limits comprehend what has been called Rhode-Inand and Providence Plantations,

Civil Divisions and Population.) This state is divided into five counties, which are subdived into twenty-nine townships, as follows: COUNTIES. TOWNSHIPS. N° of in


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| 1761 { 35:939 Thites. 1,633 Blackes | 1748{ 29:755 Whites

4,697 Blacks. S 48,538 Whites.

3,361 Blacks,

4,373 Blacks. $ 54,435 Whites.

A census of the inhabitants was made in 1774, when they amounted to 59,103.. The di.
minution of inhabitants in this state, in nine years, 7623. In Newport, 3679, almost half
the whole number. Some towns have gained 389.

The number of inhabitants in Rhode-Inand and Providence Plantations was in the year

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The civil dissentions in which this state has for some time past been inrolved, have occafioned many emigrations. Until these dissentions aro composed, the number will no doubt continue to decrease.

The inhabitants are chiefly of English extraction. The original settlers migrated from Matrachusetts.


Bays, Harbours, and Isands.] Narragansett Bay makes up from south to north, between the main land on the east and west. It embosoms many fertile islands, the principal of which are Rhode-Iland, Canonnicut, Prudence, Patience, Hope, Dyer's and Hog ilands.

The harbours are Newport, Providence, Wickford, Patuxet, Warren, and Bristol.

Rhodc-Inand is thirteen miles long from north to fouth, and four miles wide, and is divided into three townships, Newport, Portsmouth, and Middleton. It is a noted refort for invalids from southern climates.

The island is exceedingly pleasant and healthful; and is celebrated for its fine women. Travellers, with propriety, call it the Eden of America.

It suffered much by the late war. Some of its most ornamental country seats were destroyed, and their fine groves, orchards, and fruit trees, wantonly cut down. The foil is of a superior quality. Before the war 30,000 sheep commonly fed upon this island ; and one year there were 37,000. Two years ago there were not 3000 sheep upon the island. They have probably increased since.

Canonnicut lies west of Rhode Island, and is fix miles in length, and about one mile in breadth. It was purchased of the Indians in 1657, and incorporated by act of assembly by the name of Jameston, in 1671.

Black-Inand, called by the Indians Manifies, is about foriy-three miles fouth-west from Newport, and is the southernmoft land belonging to the state. It was erected into a township, by the name of New-Shoreham, in 1672.

Prudence and is nearly or quite as large as Canonnicut, and lies north of it.

Rivers.] Providence and Taunton rivers both fall into Narragansett Bay, the former on the west, the latter on the east side of Rhode Island. Providence river rises in Massachusetts, and is navigable as far as Providence, thirty miles from the sea. One branch of Taunton river proceeds from Winisimoket ponds; the other rises within about a mile of Charles river. In its course, southerly, it passes by the town of Taunton, from which it takes its name. It is navigable for small vesels to Taunton. Common tides rise about four feet.

Climate.] Rhode Island is as healthful a country as any part of North America. The winters, in the maritime parts of the state, are milder than in the inland country; the air being softened by a sea vapour, which also enriches the soil. The summers are delightful, especially on RhodeIlland, where the extreme heats, which prevail in other parts of America, are allayed by cool and refreshing breezes from the sea.

The disorders most prevalent, are consumptions and the dysentery. These are not so much owing to the climate, as to intemperance and imprudence.

Soil and Productions.] This state, generally speaking, is a country for pasture and not for grain. It however produces corn, rye, barley, oats, and flax, and culinary plants and roots in great variety and abundance. Its natural growth is the same as in the other New-England itates. The western and north-weftern parts of the state are but thinly inhabited, and are barren and rocky. In the Narragansett country the land is fine for grazing.


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The people are generally farmers, and raise great numbers of the finest and largelt neat cattle in America; some of them weighing from 16 to 1800 weight. They keep large dairies, and make butter and cheese of the best quality, and in large quantities, for exportation. Narraganfett is famed for an excellent breed of pacing horses. They are strong, and remarkable for their speed, and for their excellency in enduring the fatigues of a long journey.

Trade. ) - Before the war, the merchants in Rhode Island imported from Great-Britain, dry goods-from Holland, money from Africa, faves-from the Welt-Indies, fugars, coffee, and molasses and from the neighbouring colonies, lumber and provisions. With the money which they obtained in Holland, they paid their merchants in England ; their lugars they carried to Holland; the Naves from Africa, they carried to the Weit-Indies, together with the lumber and provisions procured from their neighbours; the rum distilled from molasses, was carried to Africa, to purchase negroes; with their dry goods from England, they trafficked with the neighbouring colonies. By this kind of circuitous commerce, they sublified and grew rich. But the war, and some other events, have had a great, and in most * respects, an injurious effect upon the trade of this ttate. The slave trade, which was a source of wealth to many of the people in Newport, and in other parts of the state, has happily been abolished. The legislature have passed a law prohibiting tips from going to Africa for Naves, and selling them in the West-India islands; and the oath of one seaman, belonging to the ship, is sufficient evidence of the fact. This law is more favourable to the cause of humanity, than to the temporal interests of the merchants who had been engaged in this inhuman trade. The prohibition of the slave trade, and the iniquitous and destructive influence of paper money, combined with the devastations of a cruel war, have occasioned a stagnation of trade in Newport, which is truly melancholy and distressing. The falutary influence of a wife and efficient government, it is hoped, will revive the desponding hopes of the people in this beautiful city, and place them in their former affluent and respectable licuation.

The present exports from the state are flax-feed, lumber, horses, cattle, fish, poultry, onions, cheese, and barley. The imports, consisting of Eu. ropean and West-India goods, and logwood from the Bay of Honduras, exceed the exports. About 600 vessels enter and clear annually at the different ports in this state.

Light-House.] For the safety and convenience of failing into the harbour of Newport, a light-house was erected in 1749, in Beavertail, at the south end of Canonnicut island. · Dr. Douglass, in his SUMMARY, &c. published in 1753, has given a particular description of it. As I know not that any material alteration has taken place respecting it, since that time, I shall insert it from him.

• The diameter at the base is 24 feet, and at the top 13 feet. The height from the ground to the top of the cornice is 58 feet, round which is a gallery, and within that stands the lanthorn, which is about 11 feet high, and 8 feet diameter.

The ground the light-house stands on is about 12 feet above the surface of the sea at high water.


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