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French Officers’ (1780) Grave Marker Dedication

September 10, 2021
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Trinity Churchyard, 1 Queen Anne Square
Newport, RI 02840 United States

Trinity Church records indicate that three French officers were buried in its Churchyard in 1780. Only the grave of Admiral Charles-Henri-Louis d’Arsac, chevalier de Ternay, whose fleet brought 5,000 French troops to Newport, is currently marked with a stone. Newspaper articles from 1780 confirm that chaplains said prayers for the dead aboard French ships and performed the burial rites at Trinity Church with full military honors. The contributions of Lt. Augustin Benjamin Lavilmarais of the French Frigate l’Hermione and Major Pierre du Rousseau Chevalier de Fayolle, who was a friend and aide to Lafayette, will be remembered with new slate markers carved by Nick Benson of Newport’s John Stevens Shop. The ceremony will be conducted by members of WARO, the American Society of Le Souvenir Français, American Friends of Lafayette, American Battlefield Trust, and Alliance Français, with an anticipated presentation by the Ambassador of France to the United States, H.E. Philippe Étienne. The ceremony will conclude with a 21-gun salute by the Newport Artillery Company.

“On the eve of America’s semiquincentennial, these Revolutionary programs share our country’s history while highlighting stories about the origins of the Franco-American alliance,” explains Johnny Carawan, Trail Administrator for WARO. “We are also excited to highlight Newport’s substantial contributions to the American Revolution, while helping the public make personal connections to the Trail,” said Carawan.

For more details about this Revolutionary Newport weekend, visit the institutions’ websites: NewportHistory.org, AmRevMuseum.org and TrinityNewport.org.

About the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Trail

The Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail (WARO) originates in Newport and is a 680-mile National Historic Trail administered by the National Park Service, which includes the land and water corridors that follow the routes taken by American and French armies under the commands of General Washington and Comte de Rochambeau to and from the siege of Yorktown, Virginia, a pivotal event in the American Revolutionary War. The trail traverses nine states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia. For more information visit: www.nps.gov/waro.

About Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution uncovers and shares compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment in liberty, equality, and self-government. Through the Museum’s unmatched collection, immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and interactive elements, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for how this nation came to be and feel inspired to consider their role in ensuring that the promise of the American Revolution endures. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum, which opened on April 19, 2017, is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.

About Newport Historical Society

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.

About Trinity Church

Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1726 by master-builder Richard Munday and based on Georgian designs by Sir Christopher Wren, was the earliest Anglican parish in Rhode Island (1698). The bell tower, built in 1769, stands at 150 feet and leans slightly to the north. Restored in 1986, the interior has the original center aisle, triple-tiered wine glass pulpit. The pipe organ was a gift of Rev’d Dr. George Berkeley in 1733. The church’s first organist, Charles Theodore Pachelbel, assembled its 508 pipes. Individually decorated box pews reflect early owner’s tastes and three English stained-glass windows and two important Tiffany windows date from c.1900. Trinity Church was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.


Newport Historical Society
(401) 846-0813