2019 is the 381st anniversary of the founding of Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1638. Portsmouth was settled by a group of religious dissenters from the Boston Colony, including Dr. John Clarke, William Coddington, and Anne Hutchinson. Click here for a 32-minute video of the anniversary event.
(Above) Portsmouth Historical Society Vice-President Esmond Smith and President James Garman were the principal speakers at the hour-long ceremony held in the Town Council chambers.
The Town is named after Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Roger Williams convinced the settlers that they should go to what is now Portsmouth, instead of settling in New Jersey, where they had first planned on going. It was founded by the signers of the Portsmouth Compact. Its original Indian name was Pocasset but was officially named Portsmouth on May 12, 1639.
(Above) Town Council Vice-President Linda Ujifusa welcomed an audience of about fifty people before James Garman summarized the history of the Town’s founding in 1636.
Dave Chase, ancestor of Founder John Sanford, reflected on his own family’s history before people were invited to view the actual Compact brought by staff from the Rhode Island State Archives.