NRF promotes and invests in the architectural heritage of the Newport community, the traditional building trades, and Doris Duke’s fine and decorative arts collections, for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of all.
As a leader in the preservation of early American architecture, NRF supports research and education in areas directly related to its collections and issues of critical concern to the field of historic preservation.
Tour Doris Duke’s art-filled mansion and enjoy panoramic ocean views from the extensive grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Open late March to November.
Experience the only museum in the world specializing in 18th-century Newport furniture and related decorative arts. Open late May to October.
Explore 40 acres of open space, a tribute to the agrarian heritage of Aquidneck Island. The site is open daily from dawn to dusk for public enjoyment.
Newport Restoration Foundation holds one of the largest collections of period architecture owned by a single organization anywhere in the United States.
Celebrate excellence in historic preservation efforts within the City of Newport, Rhode Island.
Live amidst history by renting one of our many historic properties.
Help us to continue a lived-in legacy by becoming a Restoration Partner today.
Who was Cato Vernon?
One of our ongoing projects is to discover more about the people who lived, worked, and worshiped in NRF Preservation Properties like 46 Clarke Street—many of whom were enslaved women, men, and children.
While we do not have an illustrated likeness of Cato, he left behind a written record which helps reveal his lived experience.
[Exterior of 46 Clarke Street, 1933]
After the war, like many of those who served in his regiment, he was owed back-pay from the military and he also never received a military pension. In 1793, he was imprisoned in the Newport gaol for his debts and he dictated a letter to William Vernon, his former enslaver, asking for debt relief.
Cato Vernon disappears from the known historical record sometime around 1798.
There is certainly more to discover about Cato’s remarkable life and legacy—not only his service in the Continental Army but also his shaping of the city of Newport through his carpentry work.
For more information about the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, visit BlackPast.Org
Ancestry.com. U.S., Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Microfilm Publication M246, 138 rolls; NAID: 602384; War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93; The National Archives in Washington, D.C.