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History Bytes: Valuable Services Rendered

On May 31, 1869, the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations passed a “Resolution in acknowledgement of the valuable services rendered by Miss Ida Lewis of Newport.”

Ida Lewis, the famous keeper of the Lime Rock lighthouse, made her first rescue at the age of 16 and continued to save lives until she was 64 years old. However, it was a rescue in the spring of 1869 that catapulted her onto a national stage. That March Ida rescued two soldiers from drowning when their boat capsized in the harbor. In appreciation of Ida’s dedication to her job as the keeper of Lime Rock, and in appreciation of her heroism, the following was passed.

Resolved: That this General Assembly desires to recognize the heroism of Miss Ida Lewis of Newport in repeatedly saving the lives of drowning men in at the risk of her own and we are proud that one of our own citizens by her courage and humanity has won the admiration of the whole country.

Resolved: That a copy of these resolutions be sent to Miss Ida Lewis of Newport.

You can view the Resolution, as well as other items and memorabilia from Ida’s life, on display in the exhibit Ida Lewis: a Newport Story. Located at the Newport Historical Society Research Center. Summer 2017.

Image: General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations May 31 1869 Resolution