A Short History of Newport and its Fire Department

Issue 6 and Volume 85.

A Short History of Newport and its Fire Department NEWPORT, scene of the 1932 Convention of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, is a progressive municipality by the seashore that has been aptly termed “Rhode Island’s Summer Capital.” The first settlement on this historic site took place in 1639 when nine families led by William Coddington and John Clarke moved there from Portsmouth in the northern part of the island of Rhode Island. In 1640 Portsmouth and Newport united and in 1643 the two island towns and Providence received a patent from the English government. King Charles II in 1663 gave to John Clarke a charter for the government of “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Agriculture, the raising of horses, swine, and sheep and sea trading these were the principal occupations of the residents. Later ship building and fishing gained in importance. Even before the Civil War, Newport became…

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