On April 8, 1824, the Newport Mercury announced, “We learn, that surveys are now being completed by an officer of the Engineer Corps, preparatory to commencing and extending the works at Fort Adams, (Brenton’s Point,) in this harbor.” Over the next 20 years, the construction of this massive, state of the art fortification would change the economically depressed city both culturally and economically and would establish the foundation of the Irish-Catholic community that exists in Newport today.
Who were these early workers? Where did they live? How did they live? How did Newport react to these newcomers? By examining articles in contemporary newspapers, church records, census data and other primary documents we will start a conversation on this important but often misunderstood time. Please join us as we begin to shed light on this foundational era of Newport Irish History.
STEVE MARINO taught history in Connecticut for 35 years and retired to Newport. He has been giving tours at Fort Adams since 2008. He is also on the Board of the Museum of Newport Irish History. He has degrees from Williams College, Brown University and the Hartford Seminary.