Portsmouth, Rhode Island, by Nancy Jensen Devin and Richard V. Simpson
From pre-colonial times through World War II , the townof Portsmouth, Rhode Island, has served as a stage for thedramatic evolution of American history. Dispossessed citizensfrom the Massachusetts Bay Colony came to Portsmouth inthe spirit of religious and political tolerance, paving the wayfor the establishment of a large Quaker settlement in town.Revolutionary leaders such as George Washington, Lafayette,and Rochambeau visited the summer residences of wealthyNewport merchants in Portsmouth, including the home ofTory, Metcalf Bowler. During the Civil War, the Melville areaof Portsmouth was the site of a hospital for wounded Unionsoldiers and Confederate prisoners, and was an active stopon the Underground Railroad. Prior to World War II , John F.Kennedy received his PT boat training in Portsmouth, andRaytheon has kept many employed in the defense industryever since.