Postal town, seat of justice of Newport Co and capital, together with Providence, of Rhode Island, situated on the southwest side of the isle of Rhode Island, at the main entrance to Narraganset bay, 30 miles south of Providence. It occupies a gentle eminence fronting harbor, from which it presents a fine appearance. Its pleasant scenery, embracing many spacious views of the ocean and its rocky shores, its healthy climate, abundance and variety of fish in its waters, and its interesting historic associations and relics of early times, render Newport, on of the most attractive places of summer resort in the country. Not far from the town stands a curious monument of antiquity, the Old Tower. Its age and origin are unknown, and have been the subject of much learned but fruitless disquisition.
Newport harbor is one of the most accessible, safe and capacious in America. Long before the Revolution, it gave to the town a rapid growth and prosperity which at one time, seemed likely to outstrip that of New York. Here, at different periods anchored the British fleet, and occupied the town as well as the surrounding country. Here, also, the French fleets entered, under Count D'Estaing and Admiral de Ternay. From these naval operations Newport suffered greatly, but soon recovered its former vigor, and continued to be one of the chief commercial ports in the Union, until the manufacturing success of Providence diverted the tide of enterprise into other channels. Manufactures and commerce are still extensively prosecuted.
Population: In 1810 was 7,907; in 1820 was 7,319; in 1830 was 8,010; in 1840 was 8,333 and in 1850 was 9,563