The Smallest State in America
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in America,
but it has an exciting history.
A colonist named Roger Williams
started the first permanent settlement there in 1636.
Like other early Americans,
he had come to America to seek religious freedom.
But Williams could not practice his religion in Massachusetts,
so he left and started a settlement he called Providence
Williams and his fellows
acquired land from the American Indians in the areas,and the colony grew rapidly.
The city Williams founded,Providence,
is now the capital of Rhode Island and the state's largest city.
When Williams lived there,Providence was a farming town.
During the 18th century,it was a well-known shipping center.
Today the city has a busy port and many different industries
It is also the home of Brown University, one of the nation's oldest colleges.
Rhode Island is a popular vacation area for Americans,
particularly New Englanders.
One well-known summer resort is Newport.
Newport is famous for its beaches and mansions.
Many wealthy fami- lies built summer homes in Newport in the 19th century.
Visitors today to Newport can tour many of these elegant mansions
and can enjoy the beach and many water activities.
Another very popular vacation spot in Rhode Island is Block Island.
The Island,about nine miles south of the mainland,
is famous for its beautiful scenery and excellent fishing.