On May 4th, 1776, a full two months before the rest of the new nation, the Rhode Island General Assembly formally declared independence from Great Britain. Of course, Rhode Island was already in a state of rebellion by that point, as the declaration came four years after the Gaspee affair, and a year after the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

On that day, the RI legislature published a document entitled “An Act Repealing an Act Intituled [sic], ‘An Act for the More Effectual Securing to His Majesty the Allegiance of His Subjects in this His Colony and Dominion of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations;’ and Altering the Form of Commissions, of All Writs and Processes in the Courts, and of the Oaths Prescribed by Law.”

We know, very wordy. The message however was clear – no more allegiance to the King of England.

There are only two copies of the original document known to exist, the photo below is shared from the Rhode Island Historical Society.


The Latest from What'sUpNewp

Massachusetts diocese publishes nameless clergy abuse report

A Roman Catholic Diocese that covers central Massachusetts has published a new report about clergy sexual abuse of minors between 1950 and 2022, but unlike similar reports released by many other dioceses, the report did not include the names of the priests who were found to have committed abuse.

Loading...

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...