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The French in 1780 Newport: A Newport Historical Society History Space Event

July 8 @ 11:00 am - July 10 @ 4:00 pm

Thousands of French troops landed in Newport in July 1780 starting an occupation that lasted for nearly a year. The presence of this new ally represented a turning point in the American Revolution. While French troops played a vital role in American victory at Yorktown in 1781, Newport citizens were far from welcoming upon their arrival in 1780. This summer, the Newport Historical Society will showcase aspects of this pivotal point in American history during the French in Newport living history weekend, a three-day event that showcases life in 1780 America, on the weekend of July 8 – July 10, 2022.

The French in Newport Weekend will feature living historians portraying recognizable figures such as George and Martha Washington along with the head of the French army, comte de Rochambeau. Dozens of costumed living historians representing both civilians and French soldiers will discuss what it was like to build a relationship with this new ally. Programming will take place outside of the Great Friends Meeting House, the Colony House and the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House.

The NHS is again partnering with the Museum of the American Revolution’s First Oval Office Project, a hand-sewn replica of George Washington’s sleeping tent, which will be featured July 8 – July 10, 2022. Washington met with Rochambeau and other French leaders under canvas throughout the campaign of 1781. Join costumed staff from the Museum of the American Revolution in immersive explorations of Washington’s tents and campaign equipment and the stories his guard and “military family” in the Revolutionary War.

Additionally the National Park Service’s traveling archaeology lab will be available on Friday July 8, 2022. The NPS is also sponsoring a kids scavenger hunt which allows participants who complete this activity to enjoy a free sail on schooner Adirondack II.

The 2022 French in Newport living history weekend will run each day starting at 11am. Admission is free, donations are welcome. This event is generously sponsored by the National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association.

 

Schedule of weekend events:

 

Thursday July 7, 2022: French Culinary Adventure cocktail reception. Tickets required: please email ddaly@newporthistory.org for more information.

 

Friday July 8, 2022 (11am-4pm)

  • Colony House
    • French officers discuss logistics/plans on how to house the soldiers, where to open hospitals, etc.
    • First floor open for the public (10am-2pm)
    • 1pm: Colony House site tour, purchase tickets at https://newporthistorytours.org/tickets/
    • Sheets available for the scavenger hunt activity
  • Great Friends Meeting House
    • Museum of the American Revolution George Washington Tent
    • NPS traveling Archaeology Lab
    • Meet George and Martha Washington
    • Meet Lafayette
    • GFMH open for mini site tours
    • Location of “Scavenger hunt” activity, tickets awarded for Sunday morning sail on Adirondack II. “Prize tickets” are available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Brick Market
    • French officers stop in to purchase coffee and tea.
    • Refreshed French in Newport exhibit in the Museum of Newport History
    • 11am: Rogues and Scoundrels Walking Tour, purchase tickets at https://newporthistorytours.org/tickets/
    • Sheets available for the scavenger hunt activity

 

Saturday July 9, 2022 (11am-4pm)

  • Brick Market:
    • 11am-Noon: Saintonge regiment loiters around museum building; they try to purchase coffee and tea from museum shop staff and are shocked at the exorbitant prices
    • 11am: French in Newport Walking Tour, purchase tickets at https://newporthistorytours.org/tickets/
    • Noon: Rochambeau runs into Mr. Wanton, Mr. Wanton invites him for tea. Takes place outside Brick Market.
    • Refreshed French in Newport exhibit in the Museum of Newport History
  • Colony House:
    • 11am-Noon: Doctor meets with French officers
    • 1pm-4pm: Mini hospital scenario with Saintonge members
    • Sheets available for the scavenger hunt activity
  • Wanton-Lyman-Hazard-House:
    • 1pm: Rochambeau has tea with the Wantons
    • French fashion, French hairstyling demonstration
    • 11am – 1pm: Children’s games on the lawn
    • 3pm: Dinner with French officers, a local regiment and a captured British soldier
    • Sheets available for the scavenger hunt activity
  • Great Friends Meeting House:
    • 11am: Rochambeau makes a proclamation opening the event
    • Museum of the American Revolution George Washington Tent
    • NPS traveling archaeology lab
    • GFMH open for mini site tours
    • Members of Tew’s Company meet with French officers/soldiers,
    • 2pm: Mini talk about French uniforms
    • Interpretative stations:
      • Tavern: meeting location for Town Council members to discuss how to manage the cold reaction of citizens
      • Group of disgruntled residents
      • Military equipment artificer
    • 3:30pm: Proclamation announcing an Illumination
    • Location of “Scavenger hunt” activity, tickets awarded for Sunday morning sail on Adirondack II. “Prize tickets” are available on a first come, first served basis.

4:30pm: Ceremony to rededicate the restored Rochambeau statue at King Park.

 

Sunday July 10, 2022 (11am-4pm)

Morning sail on Adirondack II for scavenger hunt winners. Tickets are awarded to the first 50 winners during the weekend event.

  • Brick Market:
    • 11am-Noon: Members of Bourbonnais regiment attempt to purchase coffee/tea at the museum and are outraged by the high prices
    • 11am: Golden to Gilded Walking Tour, purchase tickets at https://newporthistorytours.org/tickets/
    • Refreshed French in Newport exhibit in the Museum of Newport History
  • Colony House:
    • French officers meet to discuss defense strategy, British ships were seen off Block Island
    • French officers prepare for a party
    • French card games
  • Great Friends Meeting House:
    • 11am: Proclamation announcing an Illumination
    • Museum of the American Revolution George Washington Tent
    • GFMH open for mini site tours
    • Members of Bourbonnais regiment practice drills
    • Stations:
      • Tavern: Locals prepare for the evening illumination
      • Mary Almy’s boarding house

Details

Start:
July 8 @ 11:00 am
End:
July 10 @ 4:00 pm
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Great Friends Meeting House
21 Farewell St
Newport, RI 02840 United States
Phone:
(401) 846-0813
Website:
newporthistory.org

Organizer

Newport Historical Society
Phone:
4018460813
Email:
ddaly@newporthistory.org
Website:
NewportHistory.org