Newport County, Rhode Island
Newport is the chief town. This county comprises seven towns and a number of islands; but the most interesting section of it is the island of Rhode Island, from which the state derives its name. This island is about 15 miles in length, and has a mean breadth of two miles and a half.
The surface presents an interesting variety of moderate eminences and declivities which render the scenery very pleasing. Valuable minerals are found on the island, and fossil coal, difficult of ignition, is found in large quantities. The soil of the island is very rich, and under the management of skilful farmers is made to produce in great abundance all the varieties of grains, grasses, vegetables, fruits and flowers common to its latitude.
It is remarkable that not only this island, but the county generally, should be so fertile. The poorest lands in New England are generally on the sea board; but as it regards this county, few sections of the interior present a better soil.
From the earliest settlement of the country, this county has been engaged in commerce and the fishery. These interests are now in a flourishing condition; and manufacturing establishments are increasing by the aid of steam power. In 1837 there were 37,340 sheep in the county.
Newport county is bound N. by Mount Hope bay, and Bristol county, Mass.; E. by said county of Bristol; S. by the Atlantic ocean, and W. by Narraganset bay. Area, 136 square miles. Population, 1820, 15,771; 1830, 16,535. Population to a square mile, 122.