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Little Compton

Trip Planner USA  /  Rhode Island  /  Little Compton
Little Compton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. Its population was 3,492 at the time of the 2010 census. Little Compton is located in southeastern Rhode Island, between the Sakonnet River and the Massachusetts state border. It is the birthplace of the Rhode Island Red hen.HistoryAccording to 17th century land evidence, the area now known as Little Compton was originally inhabited by the Sakonnet (variations include Sogkonate, Seconit, Seaconnet, etc.) tribe, who were led by Awashonks. Awashonks' people lived in Wilbour Woods in the wintertime and at Sakonnet Point in the summertime. Her step-son Mamannuah led a separate Sakonnet tribe in the Adamsville area. The two leaders had frequent disputes over land and vied with each other to be recognized by the English as the sole Sakonnet leader.Sakonnet has been interpreted in a variety of ways: "the black goose comes" or "where the water pours fourth."The first European settlers in Little Compton were Englishmen from Duxbury, Massachusetts in the Plymouth Colony who sought to expand their land holdings. After first attempting negotiations with Awashonks, they petitioned the Plymouth Colony, which granted them their charter. In a series of lotteries beginning in 1674 and ending in the early 1680s, they divided the land in Little Compton into lots of standard sizes and began settling there. Among these 32 original proprietors was Colonel Benjamin Church. Church was well known for his role in the late 17th-century conflicts with surrounding Native American tribes, notably the Narragansetts and Wampanoags. In 1675, Church built his homestead in Little Compton, just prior to King Philip's War. Today, a plaque on the side of West Main Road gives the location of his original homestead. The plaque is located near house number 600 on the eastern side of West Main Road.
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