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Aquidneck Bank, Newport

Established in May of 1854, the Aquidneck Bank was the eighth and last bank chartered in Newport. It was begun with a capital of $100,000. Rufus B. Kinsley, president; Timothy Coggeshall, cashier. Directors: Rufus B. Kingley, Joseph H. Record, John Wilbour, Samuel C. Bailey, Samuel S. Peckham, William P. Sheffield, Abraham T. Peckham, George B. Knowles, Thomas Coggeshall.

It became the Aquidneck National Bank in 1865, charter #1546. It moved into the Express Building at Thames and Pelham Streets, which was built from 1892 to 1893 by Dudley Newton.

On October 17, 1912, Aquidneck absorbed the Union National Bank of Newport (formerly the R.I. Union Bank). Thereafter, notes from Union National became invalid, and were redeemed out of the liquidation account for the bank (Bruce D. McLean, “Paper Money and Banking in Newport,” Newport History: Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society, Vol. 60, Part 3, #207, Fall 1987, p. 125).

On February 26, 1926, the bank merged with National Exchange Bank to form the Aquidneck National Exchange and Savings Bank of Newport. The bank changed its name back to the more succinct Aquidneck National Bank of Newport on Nov. 7, 1934, but issued no currency with this title.

Aquidneck was only one of two banks in Newport to issue small sized currency. (The other was The Newport National Bank.) The bank was acquired by Rhode Island Hospital Trust in 1950.

 

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Bank check from 1871.

Bank check from May 1, 1871.

A 1937 postcard view of the bank.

19th-century view of Thames Street looking south. The Aquidneck Bank is at left.

Aquidneck National's former office in the Kinsey Building on Thames Street, here a branch of Hospital Trust.

Aquidneck National’s former office in the Kinsey Building on Thames Street, here a branch of Hospital Trust. Circa 1970 (Source: Library of Congress.)

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The Kinsey Building on Thames Street today.

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Detail of the fa├žade.

Report of Condition of The Aquidneck National Bank, December 31, 1943.

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