The Redcoats are coming!
The Newport Historical Society invites the public to join them on Saturday, August 26, 2017, from noon until 5 pm for its largest reenactment to date, the 1777 British Occupation. During this free program, over 75 costumed interpreters will recreate aspects of life during the summer of 1777 in the heart of Newport’s Old Quarter.
During the Revolutionary War, the British occupied Newport, RI for nearly three years—a time that dramatically changed the city. Prior to the war, Newport was the fifth largest city in the American colonies and was experiencing a Golden Age of wealth. But beginning in December 1776, British troops arrived and the course of Newport’s future was dramatically altered. Much of the population left and those who remained struggled; tensions between local loyalists and British troops grew during each year of the three-year occupation.
The afternoon program will open with a heated argument between two gentlemen who favor the crown, and will close with the capture of General Prescott.
Events will also include:
- An 18th century auction alongside the Museum of Newport History at the Brick Market
- In the yard of the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, preparations for a wedding between a British solider and a local woman
- Outside the Colony House, visitors can snap a selfie inside a reproduction 18th century sentry box while members of the British army stand guard
- Washington Square will be brimming with action; mingle with Newport’s 18th century residents, such as an apothecarist, printer, merchants, food sutlers, a boarding house, and tavern owner
“While many reenactments focus on military history, the 1777 British Occupation event will show the intersection of military and civilian life,” explains the Newport Historical Society’s Executive Director Ruth Taylor. “This year’s program, which marks the 240th anniversary of the scenarios portrayed, offers everyone involved the chance to bring Newport’s history to life along the same revolutionary streets.”