Coventry, Rhode Island

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Coventry is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 33,668 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 62.3 sq mi (161 km2). 59.5 sq mi (154 km2) of it is land and 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2) of it (4.49%) is water. The town is bordered by West Warwick to the east, Foster, Scituate, and Cranston to the north, West Greenwich and East Greenwich to the south, and Sterling, Connecticut to the west. It is the largest town in land area in Rhode Island, being surpassed in total area only by South Kingstown, Rhode Island, with water and land area of 79.8 square miles (207 km2).

History

Coventry was first settled in the early 18th century, when the town was part of Warwick. Since the area was so far away from the center of Warwick, the area that became Coventry grew very slowly. However, by 1741, enough farmers (about 100 families) had settled in the area that they petitioned the General Assembly of Rhode Island to create their own town. The petition was granted, and the new town was named Coventry, Coventry was named after the English city of Coventry. For the rest of the 18th century, Coventry remained a rural town populated by farmers. Among the buildings that survive are the Waterman Tavern (1740s), the Nathanael Greene Homestead (1770), and the Paine Homestead (late 17th century/early 18th century). The oldest church in Coventry, Maple Root Baptist Church, dates from the end of the 18th century. The congregation was organized in 1762 and was affiliated with the General Six-Principle Baptists.

During the War of Independence, the people of Coventry were supporters of the patriot cause. Nathanael Greene, a resident of Coventry, rose through the ranks to become a leading general of the American army. By the end of the war, Greene was second in command in the US army after George Washington

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