French in Newport Exhibit, Tour and Living History Event

June 25, 2015

L’Hermione, the French reproduction of the Marquis de Lafayette’s ship will visit Newport July 8-10, 2015. The Newport Historical Society will present Fraternité: The French in Newport, a two-part exhibit, along with Illuminating the American Revolution: A Living History Event, and the popular French in Newport Tour in honor of L’Hermione’s visit.

Colony House July 4thFraternité: The French in Newport

A two-part exhibit that takes place at the Colony House and the Museum of Newport History. Runs through October 2015

Fraternité: Colony House Exhibit — Debuts on the Fourth of July and will focus on French participation during the American Revolution in Rhode Island. Admission is free during the Fourth of July festivities at the Colony House and runs from 10am-noon.

  • Admission is part of the Colony House site tour and costs $8 per person

Fraternité: Museum of Newport History  — Debuts July 8th at the Museum of Newport History, located on the second floor of the Brick Market: Museum & Shop, at 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI. Admission is by donation. This component highlights the relationship between Daniel Lyman, who was a Continental Army officer and 18th century Newport resident, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Both fought in the battle of Rhode Island in 1778 and met again in Newport in 1780 with the arrival of the French fleet. “These were uniquely accomplished men of their time,” explains the Newport Historical Society’s Executive Director Ruth Taylor. “Their relationship, which is currently being researched at the NHS, is a springboard for examining Newport’s history and its place in the important events of our national history.”

Illuminating the American Revolution Living History Event low resIlluminating the American Revolution: A Living History Event

July 9, 2015 from 11am-2pm
Colony House, Washington Square
Free, donations welcome

This family-friendly living history program will illustrate preparations for the illumination that took place shortly after the arrival of French troops in July 1780.

When the French first set foot on Newport’s shore, many locals were wary and suspicious of the eminent arrival of a foreign force so soon after the hostile British occupation. As a gesture of kindness, Newport officials organized an illumination, requiring residents to light candles in their windows at dusk to welcome their new allies. During this program, a team of costumed interpreters will share their thoughts about being occupied by French soldiers as candles are “donated and distributed” to residents. Learn about life in war-torn Newport, gossip about the French and gain insight on what it was like to live during this pivotal time in American history.

Rochambeau French in Newport Tour

July 11, 2015 at 11am
$15 per person, $10 NHS members
To register call 401-841-8770

Explore the heart of 18th century Newport on the French in Newport tour. Discuss the year-long period in which roughly 12,000 French soldiers and sailors occupied the city alongside Newport citizens during the American Revolution. Learn how the French contribution to the Revolutionary War was vital to the success of American Independence—and it began in Newport. The tour departs at 11am from the Brick Market: Museum & Shop at 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI.