Providence, seaport and, since 1900, sole capital of the state of Rhode Island, is situated at the head of navigation, on an arm of Narragansett Bay known as Providence River, 35 miles from the ocean and 44 miles by rail SSW. of Boston. It covers a wide area on both sides of the river, which, above its two bridges, expands into a cove, a mile in circuit, on the borders of which is a handsome park, shaded with noble elms. It is a city of large commerce, manufactures, and wealth, abounding with beautiful villas and gardens. Founded before the conventional type of American cities had been discovered, its streets are pleasantly irregular, and the site singularly uneven, rising in one place to 204 feet above high-water, and in one ward, much of which is still in farms, there are numerous hills and valleys. Among the many notable public buildings and institutions of Providence are a city hall, of granite, which cost upwards of $1,000,000, and has facing it the state's soldiers' monument; the state-house; the custom-house and post-office; the Athenaeum, and the buildings of the Rhode Island Historical Society; the arcade and the Butler Exchange; a great number of churches, schools, and libraries, hospitals and asylums, including a noble charity known as the Dexter Asylum for the Poor; the Friends' Boarding-school (popularly, ' the Quaker College'); and the Brown Baptist University (1764), with 900 students. Two small rivers afford abundant water-power; and the chief manufactures are silverware, jewellery, tools, stoves, engines, locomotives, cottons and woollens, laces, wicks, etc. Providence was settled in 1636, and till 1900 was only joint capital with Newport. Pop. (1870) 68,904; (1880) 104,857; (1900) 175,597.