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The city of Newport, Rhode Island is the county seat of Newport County and is situated on Aquidneck Island. It was founded in 1639 by nine men who left Massachusetts Bay Colony for Portsmouth, Rhode Island after being excommunicated from the Roxbury church for aligning themselves with dissident ministers Anne Hutchinson and John Wheelwright. They signed the Portsmouth Compact which established the town of Newport. The Compact’s purpose was to set up an independent colony which was Christian in character but non-sectarian in governance. Many of the settlers were Baptist, and in 1658, a group of Jews who had fled the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain arrived, and Quakers arrived around the same time. The port made Newport an important transportation hub and slave trade center, and also made the area rife with pirates. During the late 17th century through the early 18th century, numerous pirates were captured. Most were executed and buried on Goat Island.Today, Newport is home of the famous jazz festival.

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