Were these records ever copied before the British stole them?
"Owing to the unfortunate destruction and loss of the Newport records, it is difficult if not impossible to obtain any authentic history of the Island of Aquidneck. These records were carried off by the British when they left Newport October 25, 1775, and the transport in which they were placed was sunk at Hell Gate, near New York City. The vessel was raised, however, and in December 1782, the books and documents were returned to Newport. The papers were stored in the old granary building that served as the Newport Town Hall, and remained there without examination until 1857; neglected until this late date, the records became ruined by the salt water and the attempts to restore the writing by the use of chemicals, rendered the books almost illegible. Thus the valuable historical and genealogical information contained therein, was lost forever."