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." The last residents were the Steere Family, Earle and Clark Steere Founder's of the Warwick Cove Marina and descendants of Arthur Steere, Senator and best friend of Roger Williams. Patience Island was a gift from the local Indians to Roger Williams and Steere to promote early colonization of Rhode Island.  Patience Island became part of Portsmouth in 1664.