Starting from the Tall Shiops Rhode Island 2007 port festival in Newport, you will sail up the coast of New England across the Gulf of Maine to Nova Scotia, with a port call in historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Along the way, you'll be standing regular watches and learning seamanship skills. In Halifax you'll be in the midst of the Tall Ships Nova Scotia Festival 2007
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a seaside city rich with history and architecture dating as far back as colonial times. Her harbor is packed with all sorts of yachts, from America's Cup 12 meter sloops, to the sail training schooners Aurora and Adirondack II. Many of the famed Gold Coast mansions are open for touring.
Newport was founded in 1639 and soon grew to become the most important port in colonial Rhode Island. A public school was established in 1640. In the mid 1600s, a group of Jews fleeing the inquisition in Spain and Portugal were allowed to settle in Newport. The Newport congregation is the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. At the same time, a large number of Quakers settled in Newport. The Quaker meetinghouse in Newport (1699) is the oldest house of worship in Rhode Island. At the same time, a large population of Baptists settled in Newport. In 1727, James Franklin (brother of Benjamin) was printing in Newport; in 1732, he published the first newspaper, the Rhode Island Gazette. Newport was also a major center of pirate activity during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. So many pirates used Newport as their base of operations that the London Board of Trade made an official complaint to the English government. The most famous pirate who made Newport his base was Thomas Tew. Tew was very popular with the locals, after one of his pirating voyages, it was reported that almost the whole town came out to greet him.
In the 1720's, colonial leaders, acting under pressure from the English government, arrested many pirates. Many were hanged in Newport and were buried on Goat Island. During the colonial period, Newport was the center of the slave trade in New England. Many of the great fortunes made during this period were made in the slave trade. The Old Brick Market in Newport was the scene of many slave auctions. The Common Burial Ground on Fairwell Street was where most of the slaves were buried.
During the American Revolution, Newport was the scene of much activity. In the fall of 1776, the British, seeing that Newport could be used as a naval base to attack New York. The city was repopulated with loyalists and British soldiers. For the next three years, the whole of the Narragansett Bay area became one large battlefield, with Newport being a British fortress.
In the summer of 1778, the Americans began the campaign known as the Battle of Rhode Island. This was the first joint operation between the Americans and the French after the signing of the treaty of alliance. In 1780, the French under Rochembeau landed in Newport and for the rest of the war Newport was the base of the French forces in the United States. The French soldiers behaved themselves so well that in gratitude, the Rhode Island General Assembly repealed an old law banning Catholics from living in Rhode Island. By the time the war ended (1783) it had destroyed Newport's economic wealth, as years of military occupation closed the city to any form of trade. It was in Newport in 1791 that the Rhode Island General Assembly voted to ratify the Constitution and become the 13th state.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth was first settled in 1623 as Piscataqua, and was then given the name "Strawberry Banke" because of the wild strawberries growing along the Piscataqua River. Well located for trade between upstream industries and mercantile interests abroad, the port prospered. Both fishing and shipbuilding were important businesses. At the town's incorporation in 1653, the name Portsmouth was adopted to honor the founder, John Mason, captain of the port of Portsmouth, England in the county of Hampshire, for which New Hampshire is named. In 1774, Paul Revere rode to the town to give the warning that the British were coming. The seaport was vulnerable to potential bombardment by the Royal Navy during the American revolution, so the seat of government was moved inland to Exeter. President Thomas Jefferson's 1807 embargo withered trade in the port city, but fortunes were made through privateering during the War of 1812.< br>
Once one of the nation's busiest ports and shipbuilding cities, Portsmouth's wealth was expressed in fine architecture. The city contains wonderful examples of Colonial, Georgian, and Federal style homes, some of which are now museums. Portsmouth's heart contains stately brick Federalist stores and townhouses, built after early 19th century fires devastated the city.
The Industrial Revolution left Portsmouth in the shadow of New Hampshire mill towns like Dover, Keene, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua and Rochester, which helped to preserve old Portsmouth. Much of the city's architectural legacy survives for tourists and artists, who throng the cafes around Market Square each summer.
John Paul Jones' ship Ranger was built in Portsmouth, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, just across the river in Kittery, Maine, was the nation's first. Portsmouth is also known as the site where President Theodore Roosevelt arranged the Treaty of Portsmouth with diplomats from Russia and Japan, ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax, the capital region of Nova Scotia, is a lively and colourful combination of urban and rural living at its best. Governor Edward Cornwallis and 2,500 settlers created Canada's first permanent British town here in 1749, on the shores of the world's second largest natural harbour. The historic downtown waterfront areas of Halifax and Dartmouth are perfect for discovering on foot, while the other communities around the harbour are accessible by public transit or car. Halifax is a modern port city with lots of heritage and culture. The entire Halifax region will delight you with an array of entertainment, museums, galleries, historic sites, fine restaurants, and lively nightlife.