Roger and out . . .
In 1636 , Pastor Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts Bay for his dangerous views: he believed in religious freedom without interference from magistrates. But perhaps a view even more dangerous, though, was his belief that England's only claim to territory in the New World, was in buying land directly from the Indians, the rightful owners. After leaving Massachusetts, he went south and founded the town of Providence and the colony of Rhode Island, on land purchased from the Narragansett Indians.
Name Origin: Italian. (Named Rhode Island by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524 because it reminded him of "The Rhodes" the largest of a group of islands in the Aegean Sea.)
Area: 1,212 square miles
Statehood: May 29, 1790 (13th state)
Nickname: Little Rhody
Famous For: Jazz Festivals, Seaside Victorian Mansions, "Mile of History," Cliff Walks, Beaches, Sailing