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riding I-95 in Rhode Island and staring out the window that was smeared by Sophie's cold wet nose when I got to thinkin' that the smear might make an interesting filter and decided to click a pic.
One of the referendums for Rhode Island voters to decide today is whether or not to change the state's official name from The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (as it appears on the King's Charter granted in 1663) to just The State of Rhode Island.
There are those who believe that the use of the word plantations is an unwanted reminder of our past when Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was a major player in the slave trade. Not only did Rhode Island and Providence Plantations have plantations using slave labor, but Newport, RI was a major center for the production of rum which was shipped by Rhode Islanders to Africa in exchange for slaves that were then transported to the West Indies and exchanged for molasses which was then transported back to Newport to make more rum. It was known as the Triangle Trade because the route formed a giant triangle on a map.
Others believe the name shouldn't be changed for it has nothing to do with slavery. The name appears this way on the King's Charter because originally the colony was two separate settlements: Providence settled in 1636 by Roger Williams and Newport settled in 1638 by (among others) Anne Hutchinson.
Then I suppose there are those in the state who feel the name shouldn't be changed because what's the point of being the smallest state in the union if you can't have the biggest name.
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