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Friday, March 24, 2017

WHS Kicks Off Events Marking 1777 British Raid

The Westport Historical Society (WHS) on Sunday, April 2 kicks off events of American Revolution Month marking the 240th anniversary of the 1777 British raid on Danbury that began with a Compo Beach landing.

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The Westport Historical Society exhibit runs through May 29. Contributed graphic

Its new exhibit, “The British Are Coming,” opens with a 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. reception. The exhibit follows the 1777 landing of British troops at Compo Beach and their march north to confiscate or destroy Gen. George Washington’s supplies in Danbury. 

Returning to their ships, the British fought the Battle of Ridgefield, outwitted Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold at Old Hill and battled the Patriots at Compo Hill.

The exhibit will feature maps of British troop movements, accounts of firefights between Redcoats and Patriots, portraits of the principal commanders, and displays of uniforms, weaponry, documents and tents, the WHS said.

The exhibit will feature maps of British troop movements, accounts of firefights between Redcoats and Patriots, portraits of the principal commanders, and displays of uniforms, weaponry, documents and tents, the WHS said.

To mark the month, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, and Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi will issue proclamations declaring April 2017 American Revolution Month, the announcement said.

The WHS will hold a variety of events throughout the month. Lectures will be held on topics including Revolutionary-era art; Westport’s “uncivil revolution;” “Monument Madness & Minute Man Monument;” and the raid itself. 

There will also be a bus tour tracking the route of the British troops and a concert at Greens Farms Congregational Church of music that George Washington would have heard.

Other Westport organizations joining in sponsoring activities include the Westport Arts Center (a fun art contest), the Westport Library (building a diorama of the Battle of Ridgefield, a book lecture and an 18th century exhibit at the Maker Faire), and the Westport Center for Senior Activities (WCSA)  (cooking demonstrations and lectures). 

The WCSA said its commemoration will begin with a Saturday, April 1 at 12:30 p.m. colonial-themed meal and entertainment event. The menu will include a garlic roasted chicken and root vegetables followed by hunter pudding for dessert “just like they ate in colonial times after a long day of hunting.”

The meal will be followed by musician Thomas Hooker Hanford performing a selection of Revolutionary War era songs. The cost is $8 with pre-registration and payment required.

Many restaurants are also getting into the celebration by serving “Revolutionary Era” dishes during the month of April, the announcement said.

Other towns along the British route are celebrating as well. Ridgefield will stage a reenactment of the Battle of Ridgefield along with lectures, encampments, memorials and a dinner. Wilton will also have a lecture and dinner, according to the WHS.

The WHS Danbury Raid exhibit will run from April 1 through May 29.

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Posted 03/24/17 at 12:19 PM  Permalink



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