Newport, Rhode Island, is a summer resort to which thousands of the wealthy throng each year to strive for social recognition. Southampton, Long Island, is a quiet seaside village whither a few hundred of the old New York aristocracy go each summer to get away from Newport and all it signifies. Newport is rich and blatantly proud of it. Southampton is wealthy and gives the matter little or no concern. Newport is a battleground for those who have social campaigns to wage. Southampton is a resting place for men and women who have never found it necessary to fight or buy their way into society.
The above passage is from, "The Social Ladder," by Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer.
This book written in 1924 is one of the best books that chronicles the era of the, "Gilded Age." Her reflections on the era from someone who like Edith Wharton lived through it are insightful. The book covers not only Southampton and Newport, but gives a complete analysis of High Society in the Gilded Age.
During the, "Gilded Age," Newport was always considered the, "Queen of Resorts" and all the other resorts of the era where often compared to Newport.
Southampton, in this time, was often called the "Little Newport." One hundred years later, Newport is hardly ever mentioned in the media, while the Hamptons is known around the world!