Where did Rhode Island's state name come from, which histories does it refer to, and what does it mean now in RI communities? Their Southern-style agricultural economy relied on slave labor to produce exports of meat, dairy products and livestock, including the prized Narragansett Pacer horse, to the American South and the Caribbean. She also directed the Rhode Island State Police to form an outreach team to work with community leaders to find ways for police to better serve residents, and to develop a plan to equip all state police troopers with body-worn cameras. Raimondo's order will remove the phrase "Providence Plantations" from gubernatorial orders and citations, executive agency websites, official correspondence, and state employee pay stubs. "Our work to dismantle systemic racism in Rhode Island did not start today and it will not end today, but we can rise together and make meaningful progress toward racial equity now," Raimondo said in a statement. One of America's original 13 colonies, Rhode Island traces its roots to Providence Plantations, a settlement established by Roger Williams. Regardless of its original meaning, Metts, who traces his lineage to an enslaved woman on a Virginia plantation, says the word is “hurtful,” conjuring images of enslaved blacks toiling in Southern fields. Rhode Island Gov. The … The “plantations” portion has come under increased scrutiny following widespread protests after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. "The word 'plantation' did not carry connotations of slavery in 1636, when the colony of Providence Plantations was established by Roger Williams," the university said in a statement. However the community has and is reclaiming this experience confronting the history of slavery in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations thanks to … On the west side of Narragansett Bay, an aristocratic class known as Narragansett planters operated large plantations, some covering a few hundred acres, in what is now Narragansett, South Kingstown and North Kingstown. PROVIDENCE – A majority of Rhode Islanders whose votes had been counted by shortly after midnight supported a proposal to remove “and Providence Plantations” from the … While the official state name includes “Providence Plantations” in reference to the mainland colony founded by Roger Williams in 1636, Raimondo said … Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island. This enabled the notorious slave plantations of the West Indies to exclusively grow sugar cane. Rhode Island slave traders transported more than 100,000 Africans into bondage. James MacSparran, who owned nine Africans (not counting the daughter of one that he baptized and then sold), preached of the sanctity of the master-slave relationship and the importance of holding the next world above their present suffering. By the dawn of the American Revolution, economic forces and rising abolitionist sentiment had put an end to Rhode Island’s slave plantations. Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 4:30 PM. In addition to the executive order, Raimondo has directed the state Department of Administration to institute mandatory implicit bias training for all executive branch employees and develop for more comprehensive equity training. Black leaders say the word “plantations” conjures up images of slavery and serves as a … Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an Executive Order as a first step to change the formal name of Rhode Island. The folks in ‘Providence Plantations’ were among the first principled opponents of slavery anywhere in the Americas, certainly in New England and by … As in the South, enslaved Africans in Rhode Island were forced to attend church. A white South Kingstown resident described the ceremony: “The slaves assumed the power and pride and took the relative rank of their masters, and it was degrading to the reputation of the owner if his slave appeared in inferior apparel, or with less money than the slave of another master of equal wealth. Event Details. The Department of Administration is also looking at state contracting practices to ensure that minority-owned businesses have an equal shot at landing state contracts, Raimondo's statement said. Gov. Mirroring rituals on Southern plantations, the Narragansett planters on the third week of June sponsored “Election Day” fairs in which slaves elected a “Negro governor.” It was both a rare opportunity for them to celebrate and a demeaning spectacle. Mike Stanton is a journalism professor at the University of Connecticut. Discipline was harsh. Rhode Island will remove the phrase "Providence Plantations" in the state's formal name from some official documents and executive agency websites, Gov. Oct29. Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order to take the first step in order to get rid of the state’s full name, which includes the word “plantations,” the New York Post reported on Tuesday.. Rhode Island never had large farms on the scale of slave plantations in the South, but it certainly did have slaves. Gina Raimondo and General Assembly leaders all struck the word ‘plantations’ from their official documents this summer, as did Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. The Narragansett planters grew wealthy, investing in slave-trading voyages and building manor houses modeled after English country gentry, filled with imported linens and silks, porcelain and silver. Removing the phrase from the state's official name would have to be approved by the Legislature before being put before voters as a constitutional amendment. A similar history has been buried in Rhode Island, he says. Rhode Island Gov. As Harry was untying him, my poor passionate dear (wife) saying I had not given him enough, gave him a lash or two, upon which he ran.” Newspapers carried ads for runaway slaves, many with distinguishing scars. They toiled on large plantations, scarred by their master’s lash, grieving when their children were sold away from them, branded and maimed if they tried to run away. 'Providence Plantations' was the name of the first European American settlement in Rhode Island, founded in 1636 by a group led by Roger Williams, who left … Conversations around the history of slavery had been pushed to the margins for many decades. I stript and gave him a few lashes till he begged. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. The name "Providence Plantations" comes from the state's founder, Roger Williams. . Gina Raimondo signed an executive order to that could lead to “and Providence Plantations” being removed from the state’s official name (Rhode Island and Providence Plantations). Rhode Island voters will decide on Election Day whether or not to remove the phrase “Providence Plantations” from the state’s official name. In time, they were largely forgotten. This all happened down south before the Civil War — down in southern Rhode Island. … On the west side of Narragansett Bay, an aristocratic class known as Narragansett planters operated large plantations, some covering a few … History has largely forgotten, though, that Rhode Island also had plantations, and not the kind cultivated by yeoman New England farmers. In … The Associated Press projected that with 100% of the state's precincts reporting, the ballot question to remove "and Providence Plantations" passed with nearly 53% of … There, he planted the seed of religious freedom that would bloom a century-and-a-half later in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Roger Williams founded a settlement called Providence Plantations in 1636, while Anne Hutchinson and her followers founded a separate settlement a year later, on what is now Aquidneck Island, but was known at the time as Rhode Island. The "plantations" part of the name has come under increased scrutiny following widespread protests after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Gina Raimondo said Monday in announcing an executive order. MacSparran wrote in his diary of a disobedient slave, “I got up this morning early, and finding Hannibal had been out . Rhode Island will remove the phrase "Providence Plantations" in the state's formal name from some official documents and executive agency websites, Gov. But Metts said he … Providence Plantations became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which became the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations after the American Revolution. The Rev. The Providence Plantations were the first white settlements in Rhode Island. "Rhode Island was founded on the principles of acceptance and tolerance, and our state's name - and actions - should reflect those values.". Detail “Rhode Island and the rest of the Colonie of Providence Plantations” in the Charter of 1663 by King Charles II. The notion of a plantation has changed through history, from the medieval Latin “planting” to a settlement or farm when the Pilgrims founded Plimoth Plantation in 1620 and Roger Williams followed 16 years later with Providence Plantations. Successfully ending a campaign that began over 10 years ago, a referendum to remove “Providence Plantations” from the state name of Rhode Island passed on Tuesday with a vote of 52.9 percent approval, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.Rhode Island is the first state to change its name without a change of territory, according to the website of Vote Yes on One, an … The horses of the wealthy land-owners were on this day all surrendered to the use of the slaves, and with cues, real or false, head pomatumed and powdered, cocked hat, mounted on the best Narragansett pacers, sometimes with their masters’ sword, with their ladies on pillions, they pranced to election, which commenced generally, at 10 o’clock.”. Rhode Island, one of the original 13 colonies, traces its history back to Providence Plantations, founded by Roger Williams in 1636. There have been efforts to drop the "Providence Plantations" before by those who say it evokes the legacy of slavery. In South Kingstown, 1 in 5 residents were enslaved, compared to less than 3 percent in the rest of New England. They enjoyed hunting parties and horse races on Narragansett beach. According to US Today: “Gov. Although the state did not have the large, slave-holding plantations most … Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. Gov. A Bristol slaver told his nephew, “I would plow the ocean into pea-porridge to make money.”. At the Anglican meeting house in South Kingstown, the Rev. About this Event Providence Plantations: Exploring the History and Meanings of Rhode Island's State Name. The move comes after several weeks of meetings with community and youth leaders and is an effort to address racial inequities in the state following a national push for progress after George Floyd's killing last month, the Democratic governor said. By the early 1700s, enslaved Africans were working on farms in the East Bay communities near Newport — Portsmouth, Middletown, Bristol, Jamestown — harvesting crops, shearing sheep and pressing apples for cider. Amid the calls for racial justice that have swept America since George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer, the Rhode Island Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a bill to let voters decide this November whether to shorten the state’s name, “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” and strike the racially offensive “plantations.” The sponsor is the Senate’s lone African-American member, Harold M. Metts, who sponsored a similar measure a decade ago that voters emphatically rejected, 78 to 22 percent. Today, Rhode Islanders should reflect on that past, and pay their respects by removing “Providence Plantations” from its name. In Portsmouth, coroner’s inquests of Africans who had died violently concluded that they had died accidentally. Those calls have intensified recently as protesters across the country have called for racial justice since Floyd's May 25 death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Kristin Knudson-Groh, Neighbor. . Look no farther than remarks this week by Rhode Island Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, who said that while the question should go to voters, he has to educate himself because “I originally did not think we had actual slavery in Rhode Island.”, Within a generation, Roger Williams’ “lively experiment” in tolerance was subverted by greed, commerce and land speculation. Thursday, Oct. 29, 4:30-6:00 pm. Today, Rhode Islanders should reflect on that past, and pay their respects by removing “Providence Plantations” from its name. The state's official name is "the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," and the "Providence Plantations" portion has come under scrutiny in … This isn't the first time the state has attempted to change its name: When the state tried in 2010, 78% of voters opposed the removal of "Providence Plantations." It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams and Dr. John Clarke who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with greater religious freedom. Raimondo said … Gina Raimondo said it should be up to voters to decide if "Providence Plantations" is removed from the state's full name due to slavery implications. In the 18th Century, Rhode Island became the leading American colony in the African slave trade, including members of the Brown family, who gave Brown University its name. The enslaved were buried at the bottom of the hill outside, in the segregated cemetery, their graves marked by plain fieldstones. 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