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Newport helped lead the way toward the Revolution and independence. The British remained in Newport despite efforts to drive them out by patriot forces in partnership with the French for the first time in the Revolution. Eventually the British did withdraw and the French, under the leadership of Admiral deTiernay and General Rochambeau, began a sojourn in Newport that lasted until when they left Newport on their historic march with General Washington to Yorktown to assist in the decisive victory there.

Faced with a bleak future, Newport in the early 19th century was forced to re-invent itself.

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Newport had been bypassed by industrialization and its landscape became frozen in time. Ironically, this became an asset for the town as it transformed itself into a summer resort and used its picturesque qualities to advantage in attracting summer visitors. In the antebellum period, Newport became a center for an influential group of artists, writers, scientists, educators, architects, theologians, and landscape designers.

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Traffic on Bellevue Avenue at Bath Road, looking south. The Travers Block completed is visible at center. Photograph by Clarence Stanhope. These families and many more whose presence here helped transform Newport into the Queen of the Resorts, built the mansions for which Newport has become famous, employing architects Richard Morris Hunt, McKim Mead and White, Peabody and Stearns, and others. Several of these mansions have become major tourist attractions.

Despite the loss of the fleet, the Navy is still the largest employer in the area, bringing many industry and service businesses to the area as well. In the late 19th and 20th centuries various groups such as the Irish, Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, Filipinos, Cambodians, and Hispanics joined groups such as Jews, African Americans, and Native Americans who had been in Newport for some time, enriching the ethnic diversity of the town. The Irish came to Newport in the s, drawn here by the work available to them at Fort Adams.

Many of the Irish families who made Newport home during the early 19th century still live and prosper in Newport, maintaining close links with the land of their ancestors. Northern Thames Street, Within approximately ten years, the western section of Thames Street pictured in the photograph was demolished to make way for the Brick Market redevelopment project.


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Photograph by John T. After World War II, one of the most successful historic preservation movements in the country saved hundreds of structures throughout Newport County. That effort began in the s when George Champlin Mason, writer and editor of the Newport Mercury a weekly newspaper still published today by the Newport Daily News fought to save Trinity Church. Other groups who have taken the preservation movement to heroic levels include the Preservation Society of Newport County, the Newport Restoration Foundation, and several grassroots organizations such as Operation Clapboard.

With the success of the preservation movement, Newport began to recover from the economic downturn that came when the destroyer fleet was pulled out of Newport.


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Newport: Images of America

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