Warwick, Rhode Island

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Warwick (pronounced /ˈwɒrɪk/ ( listen) WORR-ik) is a city in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. It is the second largest city in the state, with a population of 85,808 at the 2000 census. Its mayor has been Scott Avedisian since 2000. Founded by Samuel Gorton in 1642, Warwick has witnessed major events in American history.

Warwick was decimated during King Philip's War (1675–76) and was the site of the first shot fired during the American Revolution, in June 1772, against the British schooner Gaspée. Warwick is also the home of revolutionary war general Nathanael Greene, George Washington's second-in-command, and the Civil War hero of the battle of Gettysburg, General George S. Greene.

Warwick is home to Rhode Island's main airport, T. F. Green Airport, which serves the greater Providence area and also functions as a reliever for Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. It is also the home of the 43rd Military Police Brigade of the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

Contents

Early history

Warwick was founded in 1642 by Samuel Gorton when Narragansett Indian Chief Sachem Miantonomi agreed to accept 144 fathoms of Wampumpeague for what was known as "The Shawhomett Purchase". This included the present day towns of Coventry and West Warwick. However, the purchase was not without dispute. The two sachems of the area, Sacononoco and Pumham, stated that Miantonomi had sold the land without asking for their approval. The two sachems took their case to Boston, Massachusetts where they placed their lands under Massachusetts rule. In 1643 Massachusetts sent a militia force to Shawomett to arrest Gorton and his followers. After a tense standoff, all but three of the Gortonists surrendered to the Massachusetts force. This event caused the other three towns on Narragansett Bay (Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport) to unite and get a royal charter allowing the towns on Narragansett Bay to form the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

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