Updated March 29 at 5:29pm

Portsmouth to celebrate 375th anniversary of compact signing


PORTSMOUTH - Nearly four centuries after the settling of Anne Hutchinson and her followers, the town of Portsmouth plans to commemorate the birth and signing of its compact, the town’s celebration committee announced Thursday.

The “Portsmouth 1638 Compact Commemoration Ceremony” is set to begin at noon on Thursday, March 7 at the town council chambers of the Town Hall, where Town Historian Jim Garman will to speak on the history of the Portsmouth Compact.

According to a release, the historical document outlined a contract of loyalty and body of law among Anne Hutchinson’s 23 followers, establishing Portsmouth as an independent, religiously tolerant government.

The ceremony is just one of several celebratory activities planned by the Portsmouth 375th Anniversary Steering Committee, including Labor Day anniversary events that will host the lord mayor of the English city of Portsmouth, Hampshire. Lynne Stagg, who will assume office in May, plans to attend several 375th anniversary events, the Newport Daily News reported on Feb. 20.

According to information from the steering committee’s website, Anne Hutchinson and company originally planned to settle in the area of present-day New Jersey, but instead acquired Aquidneck Island from the Narragansett Indian Tribe with the help of Providence-founder Roger Williams. The settlement was officially named Portsmouth on May 12, 1638.

More information about future events can be found at www.PortsmouthRI375.com.


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