Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Newport county. The soil of this town, in common with all the lands on the island of R.I., is uncommonly fertile, well cultivated and productive. It is bounded N. by Mount Hope bay, E. by the Seaconnet passage from the sea to said bay, S. by the ocean, and W. by Middletown. The maritime situation of the town affords the people great facilities for the fisheries, which, with a fine soil and industry, give them a great degree of independence. A number of islands are attached to this town, of which the beautiful and fertile island of Prudence is the largest. It is six miles in length, and about three quarters of a mile average width. In this town are the Rhode Island coal mines, which are not worked at the present time. A fine bed of plumbago has recently been discovered. Portsmouth furnishes considerable quantities of wool, hay, grain, vegetables, and productions of the dairy. In the 1837 there were 16,000 sheep in the town. Population, 1830, 1,727. Portsmouth lies 6 miles N.N.E. from Newport. A stone bridge, 1,000 feet in length, connects it with Tiverton. It received its charter from Charles II., in 1663.