Things for a Historian to Do in Rhode Island

Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams with the promise of religious tolerance and settled by Native American tribes including the Narragansetts and Wampanoags long before that, Rhode Island has been at the forefront of more than three hundred years of American history.  The first colony to declare independence from England and the last to ratify the constitution, Rhode Island, though small, had a big impact on the early days of the United States of America.  Visitors can view the Royal Charter of 1663 from King Charles II recognizing Rhode Island as a colony at the Rhode Island state house, tour Spell Hall, the home of George Washington’s second in command Major General Nathanael Greene or dine at Newport’s White Horse Tavern which opened in 1673 and was the favorite haunt of colonists, British soldiers and founding fathers. 

Click around on the map below and check out our History section to choose your must-see historic sites and attractions in the Ocean State!

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  • Rhode Island State House
    Rhode Island State House
    One of the grandest state houses in the U.S. for the country's smallest state. Designed by the...
  • White Horse Tavern
    White Horse Tavern
    Oldest operating tavern in America featuring non pretentious fine dining and service.
  • Slater Mill
    Slater Mill
    Includes Slater Mill (1793), birthplace of American industry, the Sylvanus Brown House (1758), an...
  • Smith's Castle
    Smith's Castle
    Site of 1638 trading post established by Roger Williams, Rhode Island’s founder. The structure was...