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Trip Planner USA  /  Rhode Island  /  Portsmouth

Portsmouth

4.3
Gardens · Specialty Museums · Wineries & Vineyards
Portsmouth is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, USA. The population was 17,389 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Portsmouth is the second oldest municipality in Rhode Island, after Providence; it was one of the four colonies which merged to form the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, the others being Providence, Newport, and Warwick.GeographyAccording to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 59.3sqmi, of which, only 23.2sqmi (39.14%) of it is land and 36.1sqmi (60.86%) of it is water. Most of its land area lies on Aquidneck Island, which it shares with Middletown and Newport. In addition, Portsmouth encompasses some smaller islands, including Prudence Island, Patience Island, Hope Island, and Hog Island.HistoryPortsmouth was settled in 1638 by a group of religious dissenters from Massachusetts Bay Colony, including Dr. John Clarke, William Coddington, and Anne Hutchinson. It is named after Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Roger Williams convinced the settlers that they should go there instead of settling in the Province of New Jersey, where they had first planned on going.
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