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http://www.newportrivirtualhomes.com — Tour Newport, RI neighborhoods, condominium developments, subdivisions, schools, landmarks, recreational areas, and town offices.

Newport, Rhode Island is home to fabulous mansions, colonial history and great music. It prides itself on being a vibrant community offering a wide variety of year round events and activities. Newport is a unique city situated in an incomparable location on the Atlantic Coast. It has a rich history, extending back three and a half centuries.

The first English settlers arrived on Aquideck Island in 1636, accompanying Ann Hutchinson, a young woman who had been expelled from Boston for her religious beliefs, which challenged the very foundations of Puritanism. Hutchinson was inspired to make the journey by Roger Williams, a fellow religious exile from Massachusetts and founder of the Rhode Island colony. Hutchinson and her supporters purchased Aquideck Island from the Native Americans after consulting with Williams, settling in an area at the north end of the island known as Pocasett.



By 1639, however, the group had splintered and a faction led by William Coddington and Nicholas Easton moved south to found Newport. The predominantly Baptist community was quick to embrace a novel idea that would become one of America’s founding principles – the separation of church and state. Consequently, Newport became one of the first secular democracies in the western world.

Newport’s philosophy of religious freedom attracted religious groups of great diversity, including early populations of Quakers and Jews. By 1700, in fact, a majority of Newport residents belonged to the Society of Friends, and Quakers would dominate the city’s economic, political and civic life through the rest of the century.

Newport’s Atlantic island locale and bustling economy were ideal for merchants, and by the 1760’s the city had emerged as one of North America’s five leading seaports. Commodities that were traded included rum, candles, furniture, fish, and silver, and hundreds of shops sprang up along the harbor as the economy flourished.

Newport’s progressive outlook made it a hotbed of revolutionary fervor, leading to three years of British occupation after the outbreak of war in 1776. More than half of Newport’s citizens fled the city at the time, although the British army was eventually forced to withdraw as patriot forces neared victory.

The city of Newport remains comitted to liberty of conscience and religion, and the present-day landscape is a rich tapestry of lovingly preserved colonial landmarks and contemporary developments. Its historic splendor, scenic harbor and thriving downtown area are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. With a strong commitment to preserving the legacy of an illustrious past and a progressive approach to the challenges of the future, Newport today is a beacon of New England virtue. For other town tours visit http://www.virtualhomes.com . For towns in RI visit http://www.ri-virtualhomes.com . For RI relocation information go to http://www.relocationri.com .

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