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The year 1778 marked a crucial year in the American Revolution. The French entry into the war supporting the patriot cause forced the British to completely alter their strategy, having to both put down a rebellion and engage their traditional European rival.
The unenviable task of carrying out London’s strategy fell upon the new commander-in-chief in America, Sir Henry Clinton. In the midst of detaching 10,000 of his troops across North America, Britain’s commander led his full army into the field one last time that autumn, gathering supplies, striking at Washington’s advanced posts, and perhaps hoping for one last big push at the full Continental Army itself.
On Thursday November 17, 2016 at 5:30pm the Newport Historical Society will host author Todd Braisted to explore this topic and its Newport connection during Grand Forage 1778. This talk examines the events surrounding this chaotic yet little-studied period of the American Revolution, including the British expeditions to Bedford and Martha’s Vineyard following the raising of the Siege of Newport.
Todd Braisted is a past president of the Bergen County Historical Society, an honorary vice-president of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, and a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians. He has authored numerous articles and books on the American Revolution, and has appeared on such shows as PBS’s History Detectives. His website, royalprovincial.com, is a leading source for Loyalist information.
Grand Forage 1778 takes place at the NHS Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI, and costs $5 per person, $1 for NHS members, active and retired military with ID. Reservations suggested as space is limited; call 401-841-8770. Copies of Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City will be available for purchase, a book signing will follow the lecture. This program is generously sponsored by the Newport Harbor Hotel.
Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit www.NewportHistory.org.