Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 483

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Ionic order. Its location, however, on Thames
Street, near the Long Wharf, is not favorable to
its full appreciation as a building.

The Custom House is also 011 Thames Street,
is a large brick building, with wings projecting
in front and in the rear, and is open to the harbor.
The Masonic Hall, on School Street, and the
Amory Hall, on Clarke Street, are handsome

There are numerous religious denominations
in Newport. The first regularly-organized Bap-
tist church in this country was gathered here about
1641. Their first meeting-house was at Green
End, now in Middletown. Subsequently they
occupied the lot in Tanner Street, now used as a
burial-place for the pastors of the church. Their
first pastor, Dr. John Clark, was buried here.
Their present house of worship, on Spring Street,
is a neat and commodious edifice. The Baptists
have likewise two or three other churches.

There were formerly two Calvinistic Congre-
gational churches, of which some of the most
learned and eminent of the New England divines
have been the pastors. Among them were Dr.
Styles, afterwards president of Yale College, and
Dr. Hopkins, author of a System of Divinity. A
few years ago, these churches were united in

There are also Unitarian Congregationalists,
Episcopalians, Freewill Baptists, Sabbatarians,
or Seventh-day Baptists, Methodists, Quakers,
Moravians, and Roman Catholics. The present
Quaker meeting house was built in 1700; at which
date it is stated that one half the population were
Quakers. Edmundson, in his Journal of Reli-
gious Visits, says that the dispute between Roger
Williams and some of the ministers of that de-
nomination, in 1672,was held in the Friends' meet-
ing house; Mr. Williams having come from Prov-
idence in his log canoe for that purpose.

There was formerly a considerable body of
Jews in Newport. Those who first came were of
Dutch extract, from Cura^oa. The deed of their
burial-place is dated February 28,1677. Butthose
•    of    that nation who were subsequently among the

most enterprising of the Newport merchants
were from Spain and Portugal, about 75 years
later. These last built the synagogue, now
standing just E. of Spring Street, which was
once thronged with worshippers. Dr. Water-
house says, “ Newport was the only place in New
England where the Hebrew language was pub-
licly l-ead and chanted by more than 300 of the
descendants of Abraham.'' There are no Jews
now remaining in Newport; but their synagogue
and burial-place remain, and are handsomely en-
closed with iron fence; the former from the avails
of a fund of $10,000, bequeathed to the town
council by Mr. Abraham Touro, of Boston, son of
their former priest, to keep it, with the burial-
ground and the avenue leading to it, in perpetual
repair; and the latter by the liberality of Mr.
Judah Touro, of New Orleans, a brother of the
first mentioned. These interesting relics are thus
preserved from profanation, and rendered orna-
mental to the town.

As a place of trade and commerce, previous to
the American revolution, Newport was highly
distinguished. Having the advantage of a safe
and commodious harbor, never obstructed with
ice, easy of ingress and egress with all winds,
the people early turned their attention to navi-
For one hundred and fifty years from

the arrival of the first emigrants,'' observes
Benjamin B. Howland, Esq., an intelligent citizen,
to whom we are indebted for many of the facts
for this article, “ Newport and Boston were the
chief cities of New England; and their commerce
rendered each of them superior to New York.
Several of the first settlers on the island were
possessed of great wealth; some of them were
from the commercial cities of Europe, and others
from Massachusetts. Many who came here to
reside were learned and refined, and the society
of the place was literary and polite, giving tone
to that of the surrounding country, who looked to
Newport for their fashions and manners. Pre-
vious to the revolution, the prosperity of the
town was almost unequalled in the history of
the world. ‘ Her streets were thronged with the
intelligent and enterprising of distant lands, and
the canvas of different nations whitened her
capacious and delightful harbor. ' ''

Unfortunately, some of the capitalists of New-
port entered into the African slave trade, which,
strange and humiliating as it now appears, was
then prosecuted and considered reputable by the
mother country, and by other European na-

At the commencement of the revolution, the
population of Newport had increased to nearly

10,000. But with that momentous struggle came
a day of sad disaster to this beautiful town. The
first act of popular resistance to the encroach-
ments of the British government was in the de-
struction of his Britannic majesty's sloop Liber-
ty, in 1769, stationed in the harbor of Newport
to enforce the revenue laws, which was followed,
a few years later, by the ejectment from its wa-
ters of the squadron sent here under the com-
mand of Wallace, to watch over the British in-
terests. But in December, 1776, the British
army commanded by Sir Henry Clinton landed
at Coddington Cove, and obtained possession of
the town, which they held during the war. Ow-
ing to the interruption of its prosperity thus pro-
duced, connected with other changes consequent
upon the commencement of a new era in the
commercial relations of the country, and espe-
cially the impulse given to the growth of other
cities, Newport has never recovered the rank
which it held before as a mart of trade. The
population fell off during the war to 5500; The
business, which had somewhat revived during
the wars in Europe, was again almost extin-
guished by the long embargo preceding our war
with England in 1812.

Since the application of steam to machinery,
a number of large cotton and woollen manufac-
tories have been established here, and considera-
ble activity has been given to business in this
new channel. The domestic fishery is an impor-
tant resource to Newport, quite beyond the reach
of political fluctuations. About sixty different
kinds, comprising almost every species of fin and
shell fish regarded as luxuries for the table, are
taken in the greatest abundance in the waters of
the Narraganset.

Progress is making in an enterprise to con-
nect this place with Fall River, Bristol, and
Providence, by railroad. This, when completed,
will give a great impulse to the business of New-
port, and add much to the advantages which it
now enjoys as a place of fashionable resort. For
further particulars, see
Fashionable Resorts.

Newport, Te., c. h. Cocke co. On the S. W.

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