NEW ENGLAND GAZETTEER.
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was settled by
Roger Williams in 1636, a man remarkable for his benevolence, justice,
and pacific policy. It derived its name from that of a beautiful island at
the mouth of Narraganset bay. - Its government commenced under the
charter of Charles II., in 1&63>,which charter-is*the present Constitution
of the State. It became a-member of the.Union May 29th, 1790.
The Legislative power is vested in a Senate and House of Represen-
tatives. The number of Senators cannot he more nor less than 10, 2
from each county, and are chosen annually by the people on the 3d Wed-
nesday in April. The Representatives are in number 72. No town has
less than 2, and but 4 towns have more than 2, viz.—Newport 6, Prov-
idence 4, Portsmouth 4, and Warwick 4: the number for each town hav-
ing been determined by law without'reference to the-present ratio of
population. They are elected semi-annually by the people, on the 3d
Wednesday of April, and last Tuesday of August.
The Legislature meet at Newport on the 1st Wednesday of May, and
at Providence and South Kingston, alternately, on the last Monday of
The executive power is vested in a Governor and Lieut. Governor,
elected annually by the people on the 3d Wednesday of April. Their
official term commences on the 1st Wednesday in May
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