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Worn out by the fatigues of the day, they retire to their Berths.--Appearance of the Cabin at 2 o'clock, A. M.
NEWPORT-HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL. When you arrive in the Bay State, and have
TRAVELER recovered from the frightful confusion and dismay who arrives of that event, you are conscious of passing along from Niaga- a prodigious dock, and if it be already light, you ra and its review a range of ill-conditioned barns, or stores, pleasant or fish-houses, or other antediluvian remains, “Cataract which look upon the water. Then, clattering House," or over a pavement, you see a quaint, long, straight from Sarato- street—a magnified village street—its native quiet ga and its ill-blended with foreign and flashing bustle. You clean and see that, in the nature of things, so many and so agreeable fine carriages and people do not belong to the “United little wooden town, which ravels out, along the States," harbor, into mouldering old docks, upon which does not take boys sit, hanging their feet over the water and his ease in a fishing; and around which are clustered groups Newport of saucy sail-boats, duck-like riding together upon
inn. But the the calm, and ready to bend their great white discomfort is only the tax he pays for the pleasure sails to the wind, and fly, flashing and dipping, of being where the world is; it is the price of across the bay and harbor. The old, weatherhis share of the thing."
beaten wooden houses—the dignified aspect of But the Newport of August—the Newport seen some statelier mansion, very respectable but by the summer-idler who looks at it in ill-humor, sadly decayed—the spacious square, ascending from his small upper chamber in the hotel, is not gently to the old-fashioned State House—the the Newport of history and of romance, and of comely Jewish Synagogue—the simple wooden the long and faithful love of those who are native spire of Trinity Church, whose architecture tells or resident upon its shores.
| of another century, and which is still hallowed Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by Harper and Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
VOL. IX.-No. 51.-T
by that indefinable air of venerable antiquity—the which it preserves despite the fury of the brief reach of docks, fallen into disuse, and the groups summer episode of excitement around it, is like of smart yachts among the few vessels that a quiet smile of scorn. Newport will not be new. carry on the little legitimate trade of the old town, We all hurry to the Fort, if it is Fort-day, on afand which preserve in the harbor the contrast ternoons upon which the interior of Fort Adams is offered to the eye of the stranger in the town, turned into a Hyde Park. Horsemen and chariots between the priggish cit and the grave old trades- throng thither, driving placidly in each other's dust, man—these objects, and the air of quiet decay that and making a brilliant and pleasant promenade. invests them, remind the stranger that he looks The friends who dined together an hour or two beupon the seat of past prosperity, and his imagina-fore, have now the satisfaction of bowing to each tion and curiosity are teased by the intimation of other from carriages or from the saddle. The lovely a vanished splendor. The present town rises ladies who had bowling costumes this morning, gently from the water to the great hotels, which have driving costumes this afternoon, and they are built along the highest part of the island, be- will have dancing costumes to-night. They smile tween the harbor and the sea. It is a collection and bow. The ribbons futter, the gloves glisten. of houses without beauty, and divided by two or The air is soft, the band plays pleasantly; over three parallel streets with cross streets. Like Sa- all shines the summer sun. But Newport lies lem, in Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, in New beyond, imperturbable, and has other belles and Hampshire, Newport has seen its best days. beauties to remember.
In the “Red Rover,” Cooper says : “No one How little do Messrs. Jot and Tittle, who have who is familiar with the bustle and activity of an brought their respective and respectable families American commercial town would recognize, in to Newport, suspect, as they discuss groceries the repose which now reigns in the ancient mart upon the beach, or go into the town to buy a of Rhode Island, a place that, in its day, has been morning paper from the city," that, in the year ranked among the most important ports along the 1770, just before the Revolution, the foreign and whole line of our extended coast ... ... Enjoying domestic trade of Newport was greater than that the four great requisites of a safe and commodious of New York. Or, as young Thomas Tittle comes haven-a placid basin, an outer harbor, and a con- prancing home in the sunset with Jane Jot, upon venient roadstead, with a clear offing-Newport their spirited horses, how little do they recall the appeared to the eye of our European ancestors stately figures of that last-century society in Newdesigned to shelter fleets and to nurse a race of port, which charmed the most accomplished genhardy and expert seamen."
tlemen of Versailles and Marly, who forgot, in The bustle of the month of August, when New- the virgin-simplicity, and sweetness, and dignity, port is crowded with all that is gayest and most of the Rhode Island belles, the fascinations of the fashionable from every quarter of the country, is most polished and profligate of Continental beauapart from the life of the town. The saturnalia ties. Let the remembrance teach the Jot and Titof Fashion reel along the hill, but the silent old tle families reverence for the good old town. It is town dozes upon the water, and dreams of its wooden and homely; a town of the old school. But great days departed. Its indomitable repose, I its streets are historically famous, and from its
docks sailed ships to India and the Southern seas than I have known it every where north of Rome. -ships that circumnavigated the globe.
The spring is late, but to make amends they asIt may amuse and interest Mr. Jot, who has sure me the autumns are the finest and longest just given two thousand dollars an acre for in the world, and the summers are much pleasland, including the rocks upon the shore, within anter than those of Italy by all accounts, forasa mile or two of Newport, to know that in No- much as the grass continues green, which it doth vember, 1638, Aquidneck, Aquitneck, Aqueth-not there. The island is pleasantly laid out in neck, or Aquidnet—“ Isle of Peace"—the In- hills and vales and rising grounds, hath plenty dian naine of the island of Rhode Island, was of excellent springs and fine rivulets, and many bought of the Indians, through Miantonomu and delightful prospects of fine promontories and adCanonicus, chiefs of the Nantygansicks or Nar- jacent lands. . ... Vines sprout up of themragansetts, for twenty-three broadcloth coats and selves to an enormous size, and seem as natural thirteen hoes, “as also two torkepes”—probably to this soil as to any I ever saw.” In his Hisdoor-keys! Miantonomu had his seat upon the torical Discourse, 1739, John Callender adds to hill now called Tammany, * just to the north of Neal's account: “We have all summer a south Newport. Roger Williams says, in one of his or a southwesterly sea-breeze.” And Crevemanuscripts, “ Aquitneck was obtained by love cæur, before the Revolution, exclaims: “It is
--that love and favor which that honored gentle- the healthiest country I know. Why might not man, Sir Henry Vane, and myself had with the this charming island be called the Montpellier of great sachem, Myantonomy.” But the colonists America ?” declared in 1666, that what Williams said might The most satisfactory explanation of this clibe true, but the gift was an “ Indian gift," and mate, so delicious in itself, and so different from “ had been dearer than any lands in New En that of other points upon the same coast, is given gland." The proximate cause of the settlement by Maury, who attributes it to the course of the of Rhode Island, at that time, was the persecu- Gulf stream, which, by a sudden curve, almost tion of Mrs. Hutchinson and her friends in Mas-washes the shores of the island, and accounts for sachusetts. Governor Winthrop, in his Journal, the masses of sea-weed that are thrown up so after detailing her errors, adds: “ At this time, profusely upon the coast. the good providence of God so disposed, divers It is the prevailing south and southwest wind, of the congregation (being the chief men of the mentioned by Callender, which drives the trend
party, her husband being one) were gone to Nar- of the Gulf stream toward Newport. It is so - ragansett to seek out a new place for plantation." constant that the trees upon the island lean visi
The first settlement was made in March 1638, bly toward the northeast. It blows from the sea upon the upper part of the island, which is only in thick fogs, the most delightful of natural cosabout fifteen miles long, at Pocasset, near Ports- metics, which give the island the half-languid, vomouth. You will often drive into Portsmouth, luptuous climate of a mild scirocco. It is always and through it, without knowing that you have pleasant to penetrate the secret of Fashion; and a seen more than a few farm-houses among the summer at Newport shows that its annual throng fields. In fact, most visitors forget that the of visitors are not obeying a mere whim, but that, whole island is not Newport. But the settle- originally, travelers were drawn to it by the rare ment where that town now stands was not made | charm of its climate. until the next spring, 1639, between what is Among the first Governors of the Colony, and now called Tanner and Marlborough streets. So one of the original settlers, was William Codsoon as 1640 land was appropriated for a school, dington, who is reported to have built the first and the Rev. Robert Lenthel called to keep it. brick house in Boston. The cove in front of the The early settlers were always anxious to sup- present alms-house still bears the name of this plant the Indian names, a natural feeling in officer; and a story is sometimes told, and not those who regarded the savages as their worst by some gossip from the House of Seven Gables. enemies, and to whom the familiar names of the that within a few years the last descendant of old country were sweet with tender associations. the Governor, reduced to abject poverty, sought, In 1644, therefore, the island lost its Indian title the shelter of public charity, and was received of Aquidneck, and became Rhode Island. The with no other possession in the world than a bland sea-air that breathes over it might well portrait of his ancestor painted at full-length and suggest that name; for the climate of Rhode in his official robes. If Life and History were Island is truly Mediterranean. It blends the glow not so much more wonderful than romance, it and softness of Italy with the rich humidity of would be easily credible that the story was stolen England. Neal, in his History of New England, from a manuscript of Hawthorne's. writing in 1715-20, says: “ It is deservedly es- / Being originally settled by refugees from reteemed the Paradise of New England, for the ligious intolerance, the island of Rhode Island fruitfulness of the soil and the temperateness of immediately became the resort of all who differed the climate, that, though it be not above sixty- | from the established religious rule in the Colonies. five miles south of Boston, is a coat warmer in Roger Williams had led the way, a year or two winter.” Bishop Berkeley writes to Thomas before Hutchinson and Clarke came to Newport, Prior, April 24th, 1729 : “ The climate is like and had settled thirty miles above, at the head of that of Italy, and not at all colder in the winter Narragansett Bay, in Providence. In 1656 we * Evidently a corruption of the Indian name, Miantonomu. find Quakers in Newport, and many of the chief
men, including Coddington, adopting their views. | 1822, left a fund of ten thousand dollars for their This Quaker inoculation affected the whole so- support, and five thousand for keeping Touro ciety of the island, and remains vigorous until Street in repair. His brother Judah Touro, who the present moment. Butts' Hill, in Portsmouth, recently died in New Orleans, erected, in 1842, now part of Quaker Hill, near the north the railing around the Cemetery, and the granite point of the island, was the scene of the only entrance, at a cost of eleven thousand dollars. battle fought upon Rhode Island during the Revolution, and the old Quaker Meeting-house still stands there; too plain, however, to be a characteristic monument of the splendor and luxury of ante-revolutionary Quaker life upon the island. In 1672 George Fox preached upon Rhode Island, and afterward, John Woolman. Quakerism was established in Newport in 1700, and the Friends yearly meeting is still held there. The Quaker costume is constantly encountered. The prim and serious dignity of the Quaker manner still certifies to the stranger the identity of the Rhode Island he sees with the Rhode Island of history and tradition.
About this time, also, came the first Jews to Newport They were of Dutch extraction, and from Curaçoa. There is a deed, dated in February, 1677, granting them land for a burialground upon the site of the present Jewish cemetery. The arrival, a century afterward, of many wealthy families of the race from Spain and Por
JEWISH CEMETERY. tugal, gave them dignity and importance. Nor He is also among the benefactors of the Redis there any where in the country a finer memo- wood Library, and has left a conditional bequest rial of the prosperity and position of this singular of ten thousand dollars toward the purchase of people than the Newport Synagogue, which was the ground upon which stands the old mill, to be dedicated with solemn festivity in 1763. This laid out as a public garden. was in the palmy days of Newport, when there The three causes of the ante-revolutionary were not less than sixty Jewish families in the prosperity of Newport were—first, the salubrity town, whose residences ranged along the north of its climate, which attracted strangers from side of the Mall. Dr. Waterhouse, speaking of every part of the country, and from the West their efforts for public education, calls them "the India colonies ; secondly, the singular advantages strictly moral Jews;" and in the Synagogue, of its harbor, which offered a perfectly safe which, until 1850, had been closed for sixty anchorage within a very little distance of the years, a congregation of three hundred of the open sea ; and, thirdly, the spirit of entire religichildren of Israel celebrated the service of their ous toleration, which gives to the settlement of faith. The names of Lopez, Riviera, Pollock, the whole state, first at Providence and then Levi, Hart, Seixas, and Touro, announce the at Newport, an historical eminence no less enforeign origin of these families, and recall char- viable than singular. Quakers and Jews were acters and careers still honored by local tradition. among the earliest settlers, and the most disMoses Lopez is said to have been the last resi- tinguished and successful of its citizens. If dent Jew in Newport. He died a few years since the laws of Rhode Island, as is sometimes asin New York, and is buried in the Newport cem- serted, excepted Roman Catholics from the en
etery. Abraham Riviera, a leading merchant of joyment of freedom of conscience, “the excep· the town, was called “the honest man ;” and a tion was not,” says Bancroft, “the act of the
story told of him justifies the name, and well il- | people of Rhode Island.” “There were no lustrates the sumptuous spirit of old Newport Roman Catholics in the Colony ;" and when the society. Riviera was engaged in great commer- French ships arrived, during the Revolution, “the cial enterprises, and many losses at sea com- inconsistent exception was immediately erased pelled him to assign his property. The English by the Legislature." Often, from its first seg. merchants with whom he traded favored him in sion, the General Assembly took care to proevery way, during the pressure of ill-fortune, and mulgate the doctrine of absolute toleration. “We he was enabled to re-commence business. At the leave every man to walk as God persuades his end of a few years he gave a dinner to his cred-heart." Mary Dyre, one of the early Quaker itors, each one of whom found under his plate a martyrs in Massachusetts, was the wife of one check covering the amount of his debt, with in- of the original settlers of Newport ; and it was terest.
| upon a visit to Massachusetts from Rhode Island The Hebrew name of Touro is familiar to every that she was arrested and executed. One such frequenter of Newport. The street upon which event would be sure to strengthen a thousandthe Synagogue and the Cemetery stand is so fold the fealty of every Rhode Islander to the called. Abraham Touro, who died in Boston in principle upon which his state was based.