Includes information about history, government, business and employment, education, health, and recreation. Providence Plantations was the first permanent European American settlement in Rhode Island.It was established by a group of colonists led by Roger Williams and Dr. John Clarke who left Massachusetts Bay Colony in order to establish a colony with greater religious freedom. Rhode Island has dropped âProvidence Plantationsâ from its official state name, according to The Associated Press. Official web site of the State of Rhode Island. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. â¦ Now officials there are looking to â¦ SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST: The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations - many Americans are just finding out that this is the official name for the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Monday taking the 'first steps' to change the state's full name: 'The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.' Rhode Island voters will decide on Election Day whether or not to remove the phrase âProvidence Plantationsâ from the stateâs official name. The state's official name is "the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," and the "Providence Plantations" portion has come under scrutiny in â¦ The claim: Rhode Island changed its name to remove a racially insensitive phrase Rhode Island Gov. Though rarely used except in official capacities, Rhode Island's name: "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" is a point of pride for many residents since it makes the state â¦ Today, Rhode Islanders should reflect on that past, and pay their respects by removing âProvidence Plantationsâ from its name. Records from the Rhode Island State Library show that attempts to remove âProvidence Plantationsâ from the stateâs name date back at least 45 years.