Providence, Rhode Island

City: Providence

County: Providence

State: Rhode Island

Lat/Long: 41.8167, -71.4000

Providence, Rhode Island is the county seat of Providence County, and the state capital of Rhode Island. Roger Williams founded Providence in 1636, making it one of the oldest cities in the United States. Under Williams, Providence quickly became a refuge for religious dissenters in the American colonies. In 1644, Parliament issued a charter that joined Providence, Newport, and Portsmouth to form the Incorporation of Providence Plantations. During King Phillip's War, Providence suffered numerous attacks from Native Americans, leading to the destruction of half the town. Located at the head of the Providence River, Providence became a hub of commercial activity in the eighteenth century, joining the more important Newport in trade between the American colonies and the West Indies. In 1770, Rhode Island College (later Brown University), moved to Providence from Warren. In the nineteenth century, Providence shifted its economy from trade to manufacturing, and it became an important center of textile manufacturing. In 1831, Providence was incorporated as a city. Providence was one of the twenty largest cities in the United States during Abraham Lincoln's lifetime. Between 1810 and 1870, Providence's population grew from 10,070 to 68,904.

Campbell Gibson, Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990 (Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1998),, accessed 5 January 2022; Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1988), 984; Jarvis M. Morse, "Providence Plantations," Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 5:439.