Excerpt from Rhode Island, Its Making and Its Meaning, Vol. 2: A Survey of the Annals of the Commonwealth From Its Settlement to the Death of Roger Williams, 1636-1683
In 1650, - the year in which the organization of Providence Plantations may be said to have been completed, - the condition of Providence itself was not materially different from what it had been a decade before. There had been some increase in population, but not much; the total inhabitants were probably less than two hundred. Some new houses, log or rudely framed, had been erected on the town street, and the town mill had become a distinct public institution. The trades, however, were hardly represented at all, as may be gathered from Roger Williams's statement, in a letter written in 1649 to Jonn Winthrop, Jr., that the town had no smith. Nor can it with truth be said that the occupation of the people was in the ordinary sense agriculture. It was rather that of the herdsman or drover; for, while cattle were scarce, and there were as yet few oxen and still fewer horses, of swine and goats there was a great abundance. Upon these, eked out by game and fish and Indian corn, the people subsisted; and over these, as common depredators, the people wrangled.
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