August 29, 2022 is the 244th anniversary of the Battle of Rhode Island. The Battle was the concluding phase of the Rhode Island Campaign, the first combined French and American operation of the Revolutionary War. To mark this anniversary the Battle of Rhode Island Association today launches its website, www.battleofrhodeisland.org.
The Battle of Rhode Island Association (BoRIA) was formed to broaden public knowledge of the role Rhode Island played in the War for Independence, in particular the Battle of Rhode Island and historic Butts Hill Fort, which is now under restoration. The website is designed to be an exchange for information about Rhode Island events, many no longer not widely known, from the earliest protests against Royal Navy ships through the attack on HMS Gaspee, the British occupation, the 1778 Battle, the coming of the French allies, and the building and remodeling, of Butts Hill Fort until 1783. In addition, the website will announce events held by the Association and its Butts Hill Fort Restoration Committee as well as events held by our more than 25 partner organizations. The list of partners includes Rhode Island Historical Society, Jamestown Historical Society, Portsmouth Historical Society, Middletown Historical Society, Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, NAACP Newport, Varnum Armory Museum, RI250 Commission, Sons of the Revolution, Society of the Cincinnati, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association.
The BoRIA believes these efforts to expand appreciation for Rhode Island’s place in the Revolution are especially important as we approach the 250th-anniversary celebrations of the Declaration of Independence in 2026 and the Battle of Rhode Island in 2028.
Our goal is to have the restoration of Butts Hill Fort completed for the 2028 celebration of the Battle.
The website was funded by the Heritage Harbor Foundation of Rhode Island and by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. Contributors to the site include many noted Rhode Island historians and several local and regional historical societies and lineage organizations. In 2023 the site will incorporate educational materials for use by teachers, parents, and students.
Check www.battleofrhodeisland.org or the Butts Hill Fort and BoRIA Facebook page and on-line calendars for upcoming events this fall. In September there will be a “Walk the Battlefield” event at Heritage Park in Portsmouth as well as a presentation by noted author Steven Park on the Gaspee Incident. In October Dr. Kathy Abbas will talk about the naval activities in Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War, and in November there will be a living history day at Butts Hill Fort with various Revolutionary War re-enactment groups participating.
The BATTLE OF RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to raising awareness of Rhode Island’s role in the War for Independence and to the support of the BUTTS HILL FORT RESTORATION COMMITTEE whose mission is to restore and maintain the Revolutionary War fort in order to provide a safe and accessible educational and recreational site that raises public interest in this National Historic Landmark and its role in the Battle of Rhode Island. Donations may be made payable to “BoRIA” at PO Box 626, Portsmouth, RI 02871.
Source: Battle of Rhode Island Association