Located in the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is a state in eastern United States. At the confluence of the Shenandoah and the Potomac rivers, Harpers Ferry was the site of a famous raid during the Civil War.
The U.S. state of Rhode Island is known for its sandy beaches and seaside Colonial towns. Many large cities are located here, including Newport, which is known for sailing and Gilded Age mansions like The Breakers. The state's capital, Providence, is home to Brown University, Roger Williams Park, Waterplace Park and the Riverwalk, with the famed WaterFire sculpture. Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state by area.
|QUICK FACTS ABOUT RHODE ISLAND|
About 30,000 years ago, the first people settled in what is now Rhode Island. After a few thousand years, Native American tribes such as the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Niantic inhabited the area.
In 1524, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the area. The Rhode Island colony was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a man banished from the nearby Massachusetts Bay Colony due to his religious beliefs. As a result, people from a wide variety of religions could practice freely in the region.
The colony of Rhode Island declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. However, Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen original colonies to ratify (or sign) the Declaration of Independence; their delegates insisted that the Bill of Rights, which guarantees certain freedoms, be added to the Constitution before joining.
The state's mammals were almost exterminated during colonial times. However, some of them have recovered. Several species of black bear, beaver, and fisher (a type of weasel) have returned to the land. River otters, minks, and raccoons are other common mammals.
There are also a lot of birds in this tiny state, especially along the coast. There are many varieties of birds that inhabit Rhode Island, including the green heron, blue-winged warbler, common eider, loon, and harlequin duck. Among the reptiles that live here are the northern redbelly snake and the eastern smooth green snake. Among the amphibians found in the region are blue-spotted salamanders and northern leopard frogs.
Some of Rhode Island's many trees include Eastern white pines, American hornbeams, black tupelos, and red maples (the state tree). Among the wildflowers you can see are bulbous buttercups, black-eyed Susans, oxeye daisies, mountain laurels, and mullein, which is also called cowboy toilet paper because of its soft leaves.
Its abundance of fish, fertile soil, and position as a shipping gateway to the Atlantic Ocean make Narragansett Bay one of Rhode Island's most important natural resources.