Newport Historical Society invites the public to join them for “Newport in 1777: A History Space Event” on Saturday, July 15th, an event that will focus on life during the British army and navy’s presence in the city during the American Revolution, and feature the period artisanship of leather working expert Roy Najecki.

Leather was used in many products in the 18th century, such as saddles, shoes, trunks, harnesses and water buckets. Creating necessary equipment for soldiers was a specialized focus within this trade. Roy will demonstrate how to create leather ammunition cases and accessories used by New England militia soldiers. A seasoned living historian and Rhode Island native, Najecki has been producing 18th century military accoutrements since 1980 and has demonstrated his work at many historic sites across New England, including Minuteman National Historical Park.

Revolution House will also be open to guests for a special glimpse into the choices and challenges faced by free and enslaved Newport families, both loyalists and patriots, during the British occupation.  The experience will include interactive opportunities for visitors to place themselves in the historical moment.

Admission is free for both Revolution House activities, although donations are welcome. The House and demonstration will be available to visit from 10 am – 2 pm.

Finally, Newport History Tours will add context to the day’s theme by presenting the July Tour of the Month — “The British in Newport” — at 11am. In 1777 as the Revolutionary War officially began, 7,000 British and Hessian soldiers invaded Newport creating an occupation that lasted for nearly 3 years. The British in Newport tour explores the sites and stories of the soldiers and citizens effected during this time. Meet a costumed interpreter portraying Newport resident Mary Almy. Learn why the British targeted Newport, how their presence in the 1770s changed the city in the following decades, and how this impacted the colonial architecture that Newport is famous for today.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).