Image of the subscribers signatures to the Rhode Island Test Act of 1776.
At the Old State House on Benefit Street in Providence, the Rhode Island General Assembly officially ended the colony's allegiance to Great Britain through legislation passed on May 4th, 1776. The original act is in the keeping of the Secretary of State and is kept at the State Archives. The Encyclopedia Americana lists Rhode Island as the first colony to declare its independence (1996 Deluxe Library Edition, Vol. 23, p.485). Rhode Island was the first of the American colonies to repeal by official legislative act its allegiance to King George III of England. Rhode Island also had the first overt act of violence against the British authorities, the burning of the revenue sloop Liberty in Newport on July 19, 1769.Source: Rhode Island State Library: The Independence of Rhode IslandSee also:
Rhode Island Colony Records, 1646 - 1851
Declaration of Independence at the National ArchivesDeclaration of Independence at the Library of Congress