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city (1990 pop. 160,728), state capital and seat of Providence co., NE R.I., a port at the head of Providence Bay; founded by Roger WilliamsWilliams, Roger,
c.1603–1683, clergyman, advocate of religious freedom, founder of Rhode Island, b. London. A protégé of Sir Edward Coke, he graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1627 and took Anglican orders.
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 1636, inc. as a city 1832. The largest city in the state and one of the three largest in New England, it is a port of entry and a major trading center. The bay receives the Seekonk and other rivers, opens into Narragansett Bay, and forms an excellent harbor from which oil and coal are shipped. Providence is widely known as a silverware- and jewelry-manufacturing, banking, insurance, and medical center. Textiles, machinery, metal products, electronic equipment, plastic goods, and machine tools are also made, and there are printing and publishing enterprises.

Roger Williams chose this site in 1636 after he was exiled from Massachusetts. He secured title to the land from Narragansett chiefs and named the place in gratitude for "God's merciful providence." The settlement grew as a refuge for religious dissenters. Many of its buildings were burned in King Philip's WarKing Philip's War,
1675–76, the most devastating war between the colonists and the Native Americans in New England. The war is named for King Philip, the son of Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoag. His Wampanoag name was Pumetacom, Metacom, or Metacomet.
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 (1675–76). Prosperity came in the 18th cent. with foreign commerce, and after the American Revolution, industrial development was rapid. The Brown brothers, John, Nicholas, and Moses, played leading roles in the growth of the town, prospering in foreign trade and fostering the textile and other industries. In 1842, Thomas W. DorrDorr, Thomas Wilson,
1805–54, leader of Dorr's Rebellion (1842) in Rhode Island, b. Providence. After studying law under Chancellor Kent in New York he practiced in Providence.
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 led a rebellion that collapsed after an abortive assault on the armory there. The city became sole capital of Rhode Island in 1900 (Newport had been joint capital until then). In 1901 the state legislature began to meet in the impressive marble-domed capitol designed by McKim, Mead, and White.

Providence is the seat of the noted Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), some of whose work is related to the city's famous silverware and jewelry industry, and of RISD's museum of art. It is also the site of Brown Univ., Johnson and Wales Univ., the New England Institute of Technology, Providence College, and Rhode Island College. It has several noted libraries, including the John Carter Brown Library of Brown Univ. and the Atheneum (1753), one of the oldest libraries in the United States. Among the city's many historic structures are the old statehouse (where the general assembly met 1762–1900; now a courthouse), the old market building (1773), the Stephen Hopkins House (c.1755), the John Brown House (1786), and the First Baptist Meetinghouse (1775; the congregation was organized in 1638). The city has monuments to Oliver Hazard PerryPerry, Oliver Hazard,
1785–1819, American naval officer, b. South Kingstown, R.I.; brother of Matthew Calbraith Perry. Appointed a midshipman in 1799, he served in the Tripolitan War, was promoted to lieutenant (1807), and from 1807 to 1809 was engaged in building gunboats.
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 (1928) and Nathanael GreeneGreene, Nathanael,
1742–86, American Revolutionary general, b. Potowomut (now Warwick), R.I. An iron founder, he became active in colonial politics and served (1770–72, 1775) in the Rhode Island assembly.
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 (1931). On Prospect Terrace is Leo Friedlander's heroic statue of Roger Williams (1939). Another memorial to the founder is in Roger Williams Park, which contains a museum of natural history and a natural amphitheater. The Capital Center District, where construction began in the early 1980s, and Waterplace Park have contributed to the city's downtown revival. Providence suffered severely in hurricanes in 1938 and 1954; a hurricane barrier was completed in 1966.


See G. F. Kimball, Providence in Colonial Times (1912, repr. 1972); P. Conley and P. Campbell, Providence: A Pictorial History (1983); J. N. Arnold, Vital Record of Providence, Rhode Island (1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in the northeastern USA, capital of Rhode Island. Population, 179,000 (1970; with the city of Paw-tucket and total suburban area, 911,000). Providence is an important port on Narragansett Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, with a freight turnover totaling 8,400,000 tons (1970). Machine building is an important local industry, with a shipyard and plants that produce electronic and textile equipment. The city has textile, oil-refining, chemical, and rubber industries and also manufactures jewelry, clothing accessories, and notions. Providence has a university (founded 1764).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a. Christianity God's foreseeing protection and care of his creatures
b. such protection and care as manifest by some other force
2. a supposed manifestation of such care and guidance


Christianity God, esp as showing foreseeing care and protection of his creatures


a port in NE Rhode Island, capital of the state, at the head of Narragansett Bay: founded by Roger Williams in 1636. Pop.: 176 365 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"We are so excited about our 7th Annual Pink Classic," says Providence Making Strides team captain and resident Mary Beth Miesemer.
Shares in Providence tumbled 27% to 7.80 pence each in London on Monday morning.
Providence, which along with existing partner Lansdowne Oil & Gas agreed a farm-out of the Barryroe project to APEC in March 2018, has been provided with a copy of further documentation provided to APEC's funders by HSBC bank showing that US$10 million has been debited from the payee's account for payment to Providence's designated account.
Bluetree will operate as a separate subsidiary of Providence St.
Justice Gibney to assist on all calendars in Courtroom 12 in Providence County, as her administrative duties permit;
The holding company for Heritage Bank, CCF Holding Company (OTCQX:CCFH), the holding company for The Heritage Bank, Heritage Bancorporation Inc (HBI) and a Georgia state-charted bank Providence Bank jointly declared on Thursday that they signed a definitive agreement under which HBI will merge with and into CCF and a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCF will merge with and into Providence, in an all-stock transaction.
In the transaction, CB merged into PB Financial Corp., Providence's new holding company, and Cornerstone merged into Providence, creating a community banking company with approximately USD 400m in assets, USD 311m in loans, and USD 332m in deposits based on publicly reported financial information as of 30 June 2017.
It assigned a 'AA-' Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Providence St.
Providence earned more than a 39 percent internal rate of return on its investment, not including investment management performance fees.
Medical technology company RaySearch Laboratories AB (STO:RAYB) announced on Tuesday that Providence Health & Services, a network of hospitals and health services, has chosen RayStation as its primary treatment planning system in four additional sites within Oregon and Montana.
Providence Bank & Trust has opened its newest location in Oak Lawn, IL along with the addition of Laura Fasan, Investment Advisor, the company said.
Providence Health & Services Alaska set foot in Alaska in 1902 during the Gold Rush in Nome when the Sisters of Providence first brought healthcare to the Last Frontier.

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