Founded by religious dissident Anne Hutchinson, who led a group of settlers to the area in 1638 after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Portsmouth is Rhode Island’s second-oldest community. The town was the site of the Battle of Rhode Island on August 29, 1778, when American troops, who included a locally recruited African American regiment, withdrew to Bristol and Tiverton, leaving Aquidneck Island under
British control. Covering a 23.3-mile area, Portsmouth has a population of more than 17,000. The town is also home to many yacht builders and boat dealers.