Sarah Vickery


Today, hundreds of years later, the letters of great Americans provide interesting and fascinating glimpses into the most important personalities in our nation’s history. The letters in this article reveal an early America populated by real people who led real lives—sometimes extraordinary, but sometimes quite mundane. Long before the advent of social media such as Facebook, these letters disclose an interconnected world that seemed at once impossibly small and impossibly huge. Newport had its own part to play in this history. Leaders such as George Washington and John Adams visited the city and communicated directly with the inhabitants, addressing their concerns and thanking them for their patriotism. Today, this fragile handwritten history is preserved in the collections of the Newport Historical Society.