J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Reenacting Life in 1778 Newport, 25 Aug.

On Saturday, 25 August, the Newport Historical Society will sponsor its fifth annual summer living history program. This year’s subject is “Life During the 1778 Battle of Rhode Island.”

Dozens of costumed interpreters will portray residents of colonial Newport and the British soldiers who occupied the town 240 years ago. Events will include:
  • Costumed interpreters stationed around Washington Square portraying daily life in the Pitts Head Tavern, the Crown Coffeehouse, and the British Officer’s Club. 
  • A laundry demonstration in the same area.
  • At the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House (17 Broadway), Mary Almy preparing her boarding house and family for the potential battle with the Continentals.
  • British soldiers army standing guard at a sentry box outside the Colony House—ideal for visitors who want to snap a selfie.
  • Children’s activities at the Museum of Newport History & Shop (127 Thames Street).
Also at the Museum of Newport History, visitors can purchase material for the Spy Challenge, a special activity with proceeds helping to offset the overall event costs. The Spy Challenge lets folks step into the reenactment by following clues to collect important intelligence from undercover spies. Can you help transport that information off the island to the Continental forces?

This event will take place in the center of Newport from 12:00 noon to 5:00 P.M. Aside from the Spy Challenge, these presentations are free to all, but donations are welcome.

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