Recalcitrant Rhode Island, Part 2

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I’m fascinated by Rhode Island. Partly because it’s the setting for my third novel. (Working title: Smuggler’s Paradise—although I’m 100% positive that will change). But more so because of its fascinating history. For such a small state, it had a big attitude in the 18th century.

Update: As expected, the title changed before publication. It's now available as Willing Love at

This morning, as I was doing some research, I started wondering whether there were any colonies that had declared independence from Great Britain before the Declaration of Independence. After all, in the 1700s, a colony/state considered itself more as a country and less as part of any United Colonies or United States. It only made sense that some of them would have declared independence already.

A quick internet search brought me to...Rhode Island of course!

On May 4, 1776, the general assembly in Rhode Island passed an act, which declared Rhode Island and Providence Plantations an independent state.

Interestingly, while Rhode Island was the first colony to declare independence, they were the last state to ratify the Constitution. Read my first post on Rhode Island’s reluctance to ratify the Constitution here.

So far, I haven’t found any other colony that declared its own independence from Great Britain. If you know of one, please chime in.

Plus, I’m especially interested in knowing if Rhode Islanders still celebrate their own independence day.


1 comment:

  1. Update: I was just reading at that South Carolina declared independence from Great Britain on March 26th, 1776! Evidently, Rhode Island wasn't the only or the first!