Patience Island

Patience Island lies off the northwest coast of Prudence Island in the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It has a land area of 0.33 sq mi (0.85 km2; 210 acres), making it the fourth-largest island in Narragansett Bay. Aside from a single 600-square foot house, which is disconnected from the state electrical grid, Patience Island is otherwise uninhabited.[1]

Patience Island from near Warwick Light
Patience Island, shown in red, in the inner part of Narragansett Bay


The island and others nearby were named by Roger Williams and other early colonists. Colonial school children often recited the poem: "Patience, Prudence, Hope, and Despair. And the little Hog over there." Patience Island was a gift from the Narragansett Indians to Roger Williams and Arthur Steere, First Senator of Rhode Island. Arthur never lived on the Island but his descendents Earle and Clark Steere of The Warwick Cove Marina was the last to live in the farm house on the Island. Now the Island is densely overgrown with vines and brush.

The island is populated by a warren of New England cottontail rabbits, which is part of a species restoration program related to the animal's candidacy for listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.[2] In 2021, one rabbit on the island tested positive for tularemia.[3]


  1. ^ "0 Patience for others? Small island's only home hits market". AP NEWS. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Rabbit on Patience Island Tests Positive for Tularemia, a Highly Contagious Bacterial Disease". The State of Rhode Island. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Rabbit on island tests positive for contagious infection". AP NEWS. 16 March 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.

Coordinates: 41°39′24″N 71°21′36″W / 41.65667°N 71.36000°W / 41.65667; -71.36000