History of Rhode Island

Native Indian Tribe

Names of the Rhode Island Indian Tribes
Rhode Island is a state of the Northeast United States on the Atlantic Ocean. There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in the present day state of Rhode Island. The names of the Rhode Island tribes included the Nipmuc, Pequot, Wampanoag and Narraganset.

History of Rhode Island Indians - The French Indian Wars
The
French and Indian Wars (1688 - 1763) was a generic names for a series of wars, battles and conflicts involving the French colonies in Canada and Louisiana and the 13 British colonies, which included Rhode Island, consisting of King William's War (1688-1699), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744 - 1748) and the French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763). Various Rhode Island Indian tribes were allied to the French and British colonies during the French Indian Wars which raged for nearly 75 years.

Fast Facts about the History of Rhode Island Indians
The climate, land, history, environment and natural resources that were available to the indigenous Indian tribes in Rhode Island resulted in the adoption of the Northeast Woodlands culture.

  • Name of State: Rhode Island
  • Meaning of State name: Named "Roodt Eylandt" by Adrian Block, the Dutch explorer. The meaning of the name is "red island" referring to the red clay that lined the shore. The name was later changed when the region came under British rule.
  • Geography, Environment and Characteristics of the State of Rhode Island: Flat rolling hills and lowlands
  • Culture adopted by Rhode Island Indians: Northeast Woodlands Cultural Group
  • Languages: Iroquoian and Algonquian
  • Way of Life (Lifestyle): Hunter-gatherers, farmers, fishers, trappers
  • Types of housing, homes or shelters: Chickees, Wigwams (aka Birchbark houses) and Longhouses

History Timeline of the Rhode Island Indians

  • 10,000 B.C.: Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.
  • 7000 BC: Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools
  • 1000 AD: Woodland Period - homes were established along rivers and trade exchange systems and burial systems were established
  • 1675: 1675-1676 - King Philip's War. so named after Metacom (King Philip) of the Wampanoag tribe, who was called Philip by the English. The war was bloody and bitterly fought by the colonists against the Wampanoags, Narragansetts, Nipmucks, Pocumtucks, and Abenakis.The Narragansett tribe were nearly exterminated during this War.
  • 1688: 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America consisting of King William's War (1688-1699), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), King George's War (1744 - 1748) and the French and Indian War aka the Seven Years War (1754-1763)
  • 1754: 1754 - 1763: The French Indian War is won by Great Britain against the French so ending the series of conflicts known as the French and Indian Wars
  • 1763: Treaty of Paris
  • 1775: 1775 - 1783 - The American Revolution.
  • 1776: July 4, 1776 - United States Declaration of Independence
  • 1803: The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
  • 1812: 1812 - 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America's Independence
  • 1830: Indian Removal Act
  • 1832: Department of Indian Affairs established
  • 1861: 1861 - 1865: The American Civil War.
  • 1862: U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
  • 1865: The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
  • 1887: Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
  • 1969: All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
  • 1979: American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed

History of Rhode Island Indians - Destruction and Decline
The history of the European invasion brought epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, influenza, measles and smallpox. The Native Indians of Rhode Island had not developed immunities against these diseases resulting in huge losses in population. Exploitation including the leverage of taxes, enforced labor and enslavement were part of their history, taking their toll on the Rhode Island Indians.

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