Commemorating the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s Royal Charter of 1663, this exhibit features an array of original documents including the 1721 recorded copy of the 1643 Parliamentary Patent that preceded the Charter, remnant sections of the wax and resin Great Seal of Charles II that was originally appended to the Charter and the legislative proceedings around the Charter’s arrival in Rhode Island and its first reading to the General Assembly. Other featured items include a published transcript of the Charter printed in England in 1719 and contemporary documents written in the hands of Roger Williams and John Clarke.
Commemorating the 170th anniversary of the state’s first Constitution effective on May 2, 1843, this exhibit features an array of original documents leading up to and relating to its ratification, including journals from the first Constitutional Convention in 1824, petitions to expand the right to vote and a copy of the 1841 “Peoples Constitution” as ratified by supporters of Thomas Dorr. Other featured items include records of the state’s last Constitutional Convention in 1986. Video footage taken during the plenary sessions will run continuously as part of the exhibit.