Colonial Lottery: Rhode Island Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Colonial Lottery Ticket Index

    Rhode Island Lottery

    The Providence Rhode Island Street Lottery of 1761, classes 1-3

    According to the proceedings of the General Assembly, held in East Greenwich, Rhode Island on February 23, 1761 a petition was received from several of the inhabitants of Providence requesting a lottery so that the profits could be used to pave the streets of that city. They stated the streets were not passable at certain times of the year and the high volume of traffic made it impossible to keep the roads in good repair. The only solution was to have the dirt streets paved. This was to be accomplished in three steps. The proceeds of a first class lottery would be used to pave from the bridge towards uptown as far as the money would allow. Proceeds from a second class lottery would be used to pave from the bridge down town as far as the lottery proceeds would allow. Finally there would be a third class lottery to subsidize the paving from the bridge westward over Weybosset and continue as far as finances would allow.

    This plan was passed, granting the right to conduct a lottery of three classes to raise the sum of £6,000 to be used for the paving of the streets in Providence. The directors of the lottery were; Nicholas Cooke, John Brown, Knight Dexter, Joseph Bennett, Joseph Bucklin and George Jackson.

    Bibliographical references: John Samuel Ezell, Fortune's Merry Wheel: The Lottery in America,  Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1960 and Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England,  volume 4, 1757-1769, edited by John Russell Bartlett, Secretary of State, Providence: Knowles, Anthony and Co., 1861, (rpt. New York: AMS, 1968) pp. 269-270.