Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Atlantic Neptune Part 2 – Item 5

newport
J.F.W. Des Barres, A Plan of the Town of Newport in the Province of Rhode Island, 1781
Unique among colonial settlements, Newport, R.I. embraced the notions of religious tolerance and social service, and became one of the five largest cities in British North America. An economy built upon shipbuilding, the maritime trades, and agriculture allowed the town to grow into an important harbor where raw materials entered and finished products were exported. This 1781 chart lists the numerous places of interest in the town, including wharves, public buildings, places of worship and streets. Newport merchants increasingly smuggled goods in and out of Narragansett Bay to evade paying taxes, and this lawlessness led to the stationing of the ship Gaspee II in the Bay, to monitor the flow of goods.

 

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