242 Years Later, French and American Bond Holds Strong at Newport Harbor

In July 1780 French ships appeared in Newport Harbor. Thousands of French soldiers arrived in Newport, RI, under the command of Comte de Rochambeau, marking the beginning of the Franco-American Alliance and the receipt of critical aid for the American Revolution.

The National Park Service and the Alliance Française de Newport invite the public to join them on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail for a special ceremony on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. to commemorate France’s crucial role in helping in America’s War of Independence. The ceremony will take place at the Rochambeau Monument in King Park at 125 Wellington Avenue in Newport, during the Newport Historical Society’s French in Newport Living History Weekend.

This event will commemorate the landing of almost 6,000 French soldiers in July of 1780. The French troops and ships provided critical support to the Continental Army, leading to victory at Yorktown and, ultimately, to American independence.

“France played a crucial role in our quest for freedom, which 242 years later we continue to appreciate” said Johnny Carawan, Trail Administrator, Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. “The Trail originates in Newport and is a living collaboration between the French and American governments, participants, and supporters, within hundreds of communities along the 680-mile Trail”

The 91-foot Tall Ship, Tree of Life, under the command of Captain Paul E. Morse, will be on hand, along with the Newport Artillery, to salute the French troops.

The mission of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is to preserve and interpret the routes taken by American and French soldiers from 1781 – 1782 and to commemorate the role of the critical French-American alliance in the victory over British forces at the siege of Yorktown, Virginia. www.nps.gov/waro

The mission of the Alliance Française de Newport is to promote an understanding and appreciation of the language and culture of France and French-speaking people and our nation’s historic and continuing relationship with France by providing educational and cultural programs for Members and the general public. https://alliancefrancaisenewportri.org/



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