Located near Newport, Coit Mountain derives its name from Vance Coit, the leader of a colony of Africans who settled near the summit of the mountain, mainly on the eastern slope. A cellar wall and rose bush are all that remain to mark the presence of this community.
Most of the residents of Coit Mountain were freedom fighters who had escaped enslavement. Charles Hall, who had come from Florida, secured his freedom by stowing away aboard ship with the help of the brother of Deacon Jonathan Cut. Other settlers of the Mountain included Robert Nott and Salem Colby; Tom Billings who later moved to Canada with his white wife; and Jesse Sherburn, a “boot black” and local poet.