Rev. Dr. Samuel Hopkins House

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Hopkins served as minister of the First Congregational Church from 1770 to 1803 and wrote “The Principles of the New Divinity.” He was the first Congregational minister to denounce slavery from the pulpit, an heroic position to take since Newport was active in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Hopkins preached ardently of the horror and injustice of buying and selling human beings. As a result, several wealthy slave owners left his church. He raised funds to free many slaves in his neighborhood and in 1773 joined Rev. Ezra Stiles of the Second Congregational Church in appeals for funds to send trained missionaries to Africa.