Newport Stamp Act Protest
On the afternoon of August 29, 2015, Newport, Rhode Island’s rich colonial history comes to life during the Newport Historical Society’s Stamp Act Protest. This large-scale reenactment takes place in downtown Newport to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act Riots, one of the first events that sparked the American Revolution.
“This is a unique living history experience,” explains the Society’s Executive Director Ruth Taylor. “During this afternoon program we will recreate a ‘pop-up’ colonial city that illustrates daily life from the colonial-era and brings to life a historical event in the location where it actually happened.”
Visitors can meet with craftspeople whose businesses were once present on Washington Square, such as a printer, tailor and milliner, along with historic interpreters portraying specific figures including sailors, rabble rousers and even prominent citizens like the Ellerys and Vernons. Events include an upper class lady’s tea and children’s games; reenactments include an effigy demonstration, much like the original protest and a “rank sacking” of the Society’s house museum, and will close with street theater in front of the Colony House.
Protesters were served strong beer and cheese for their participation in the 1765 riots. Keeping in the spirit of the event, the Stamp Act Protest concludes with a Stamp Act Party inside the Colony House where guests can enjoy refreshments, such as beer and cheese along with other hors d’oeuvres, and chat with the reenacting team. Party tickets will be sold to help offset program costs.