Rhode Island State House

82 Smith Street, Providence

I-95 Exit 23, Rhode Island


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Built 1895-1904 and based on the US capitol, it features many treasures. The most famous is the full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, but there’s also a reproduction of the Liberty Bell, one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence (given to each of the colonies) and two cannons: the Gettysburg Gun, which was struck by three Confederate shells during Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, and a Civil War cannon, used in the Battle of Bull Run. Most important,though, is the Royal Charter of 1663, referring to the principle of religious liberty and tolerance upon which Roger Williams founded the State.

See if you can find these words inscribed over the South doorway: “To hold forth a lively experiment that a most civil state may stand and best be maintained with full liberty in religious concernment”.

Independent Man, the 11 ft bronze statue on top of the dome, originally named “Hope,” has been standing there since 1899. He has braved Rl blizzards and hurricanes, and has been struck by lightning 27 times. A symbol of freedom and independence, he holds a spear in his right hand and the State symbol, an anchor, lies at his feet.

Do you know that the real name of Rhode Island is the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations?

Monday-Friday 8- 4:30, FREE tours 9,10,11