Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Portsmouth, Rhode Island
settlement_type = Town
nickname =
motto =

image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Portsmouth in Rhode Island

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Rhode Island
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Newport

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 153.6
area_land_km2 = 60.1
area_water_km2 = 93.5
area_total_sq_mi = 59.3
area_land_sq_mi = 23.2
area_water_sq_mi = 36.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 17149
population_density_km2 = 285.3
population_density_sq_mi = 739.0

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 62
elevation_ft = 203
latd = 41 |latm = 36 |lats = 14 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 15 |longs = 40 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 02871
area_code = 401
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 44-57880GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1220065GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Portsmouth is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 17,149 at the 2000 census.

Portsmouth's ZIP code is 02871.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 59.3 square miles (153.6 km²), of which, 23.2 square miles (60.1 km²) of it is land and 36.1 square miles (93.5 km²) of it (60.86%) is water. Most of its land area lies on Aquidneck Island, which it shares with Middletown and Newport. In addition, Portsmouth encompasses some smaller islands, including Prudence Island, Patience Island, Hope Island, and Hog Island.



It became part of the colony of Rhode Island (see Aquidneck Island) and eventually of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and the state that bears that name.

Portsmouth is the site of an important capture during the American War for Independence. Lieutenant Colonel William Barton of Rhode island captured the British Commander-in-Chief, General Richard Prescott there. It is also the site of Rhode Island's only major battle in that war on Butt's Hill. It's said that nearby Founder's Brook ran red with the blood of fallen British soldiers on August 29, 1778. During the Battle of Rhode Island the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, which comprised mostly African-American soldiers, served in the army of Gen. John Sullivan.



Portsmouth High School
Portsmouth Middle School
Elmhurst Elementary School
Howard H. Hathaway Elementary School
Melville Elementary School
Prudence Island School


Portsmouth Abbey School (9th Grade through 12th Grade)
Saint Philomena School (Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade) [The Pennfield School] (Nursery-Eighth Grade)


Since 1980, Portsmouth has been home to [http://www.clementsmarket.com/default.asp Clements' Market] , a large supermarket. In addition, Portsmouth is home to the Portsmouth Business Park, as well as a few small plazas with a variety of businesses. Portsmouth is also home to Raytheon, and its Integrated Defense Systems department.


Portsmouth is home to the headquarters of US Sailing, The National Governing Body of Sailing in the U.S. [http://www.ussailing.org/] Portsmouth is also home to the Newport International Polo Series held at Glen Farm. [http://www.glenfarm.com/]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 17,149 people, 6,758 households, and 4,865 families residing in the town. The population density was 739.0 people per square mile (285.3/km²). There were 7,386 housing units at an average density of 318.3/sq mi (122.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.82% White, 1.17% African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.

There were 6,758 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.1% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,835, and the median income for a family was $68,577. Males had a median income of $46,297 versus $31,745 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,161. About 2.0% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Historic Sites in Portsmouth

*Battle of Rhode Island Site
*Hog Island Shoal Lighthouse
*Wreck Sites of H.M.S. Cerberus and H.M.S. Lark
*Union Church (Portsmouth, Rhode Island)
*Portsmouth Friends Meetinghouse Parsonage and Cemetery
*Prudence Island Lighthouse
*Mount Hope Bridge
*Greenvale Farm
*Green Animals Topiary Garden

Notable Residents

*Ade Bethune - liturgical artist and Catholic Worker
*Helen Glover - cast member on "" and host of the "Helen Glover Show" on TalkRadio 920 WHJJ
*Anne Hutchinson - founded colony of Rhode Island in 1638
*Julia Ward Howe - author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
*Mike Cloud - NFL runningback for the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and New York Giants
*Patrick Kennedy - U.S. congressman for Rhode Island's First district
*Ronald Machtley - former U.S. congressman
*Chris Cosentino - American chef and cast member of "The Next Iron Chef"
*Betty Hutton - American film actress and singer [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/movies/14hutton.html Retrieved 2008-08-25.]


Further reading

*Garman, James E. (1996). "Traveling Around Aquidneck Island 1890-1930". Portsmouth: Hamilton Printing. ISBN 0-9631722-6-3.
*Pierce, John T. (1991). "Historical Tracts of the Town of Portsmouth". Portsmouth: Hamilton Printing. ISBN 0-9631722-0-4.

External links

* [http://www.portsmouthri.com/frames.htm Town of Portsmouth]
* [http://www.onaquidneck.com/portsmouth.htm OnAquidneck.com Portsmouth links page]

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